China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) unveiled plans to more than triple the number of 5G base stations over the next four years, targeting a total of 3.64 million by end-2025, local newspaper China Daily reported.
Under this plan, China aims to have 26 5G base stations for every 10,000 people by the end of 2025. In comparison, in 2020, there were five 5G base stations for every 10,000 people in China.
The plan also stipulates that the penetration rate of 5G users in the country will grow from 15% in 2020 to 56% in 2021.
Xie Cun, director of the information and communication development department at the ministry, said that Chinese operators have already deployed more than 1.15 million 5G base stations, accounting for more than 70% of the global total, and 5G network coverage has been achieved in urban areas of all prefecture-level cities. The official also said that 5G coverage reached 97% of counties and 40% of rural towns across the country.
Xie said 5G has already been used in 22 industries, including industrial manufacturing, mining, ports, medical care, education and entertainment. “In the next step, we will work with other parties to focus on promoting 5G applications in 15 industries that target information consumption, real economy and people’s livelihood services,” Xie said.
Meanwhile, Wang Zhiqin, deputy head of the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, a government think tank, said China will have built the world’s largest and most extensive Standalone 5G network by the end of 2025.
Chinese operators recorded a net gain of 43.88 million 5G subscribers in September, according to the carriers’ latest available figures.
China Mobile, the world’s largest operator in terms of subscribers, added a total of 27.08 million 5G subscribers in September.
The carrier said it ended last month with 331.22 million 5G subscribers, compared to 113.59 million 5G customers in September 2020.
China Mobile has added a total of 166.22 million subscribers in the 5G segment since the beginning of the year.
Rival operator China Unicom said it added a total of 7.88 million 5G subscribers during last month.
During the first nine months of the year, the carrier added a total of 66.11 million 5G subscribers.
The telco ended September with 136.94 million 5G subscribers. China Unicom started to provide 5G statistics earlier this year.
Meanwhile, China Telecom added 8.92 million 5G subscribers in September to take its total 5G subscribers base to 155.54 million. During the January-September period, the telco added a total of 69.04 million 5G subscribers.
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