China Mobile reaches 15.4 million 5G subscribers at the end of February
5G services employed in fight against COVID-19 in China
China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile operator in terms of subscribers, ended February 2020 with a total of 15.4 million subscribers in the 5G segment, the telco reported in its annual report.
This compares with 6.74 million 5G subscribers in January and 2.55 million subscribers in December 2019.
Currently, China Mobile offers 5G services in 50 cities across China. The service is offered through over 50,000 5G base stations. The operator is aiming to have a total of 300,000 5G sites across China by the end of 2020.
“Looking ahead, 5G presents infinite possibilities. We will continue to take a systematic approach to planning and steadily implementing our “5G+” initiatives. We will speed up technology, network, application, operations and ecosystem upgrades, accelerate industry transformation by converging technologies, integrate data to strengthen information transmission in society, and introduce digitized management to build the foundation for digital society development. By doing so, we will seek more extensive 5G deployment, covering more sectors and creating greater efficiency and social value,” said Jang Yie, China Mobile’s chairman.
The executive also said that one of the top priorities for 2020 will be to overcome the impact of the Covid-19 virus on the 5G rollout.
He highlighted that the widespread of the epidemic had driven more and more businesses and consumers online and encouraged greater takeup of digital and cloud-based services.
China Mobile has recently launched a tender for the second phase of its 5G network rollout, according to recent Chinese press reports
In the new phase of its 5G program, China Mobile is aiming to acquire over 232,000 5G base stations as it looks to extend coverage to 28 regions across the country.
In June 2019, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) officially issued licenses for the launch of commercial 5G networks in the country. Those 5G permits were granted to China Mobile, China Unicom, China Telecom and state-owned broadcaster China Broadcasting Network.
China Mobile selected Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia and ZTE as providers of 5G network equipment. According to a previous report published by the South China Morning Post, China Mobile has awarded half of its 5G network equipment contracts to Huawei Technologies.
According to a previous report by China Daily, the carrier aims to end 2020 with a total of 70 million 5G users, with a planned investment of CNY20 billion ($2.85 billion).
The executive highlighted that the peak period for China Mobile’s investments in 5G deployment will be between 2020 and 2022.
5G technology will account for almost half of China’s overall mobile connections by 2025, according to a recent study by the GSMA.
The 2020 China edition of the GSMA’s ‘Mobile Economy’ series, forecasts that China will have an adoption rate on a par with other leading 5G markets such as Japan, South Korea and the U.S.
According to the report, China will have 807 million subscribers in the 5G segment by 2025, while 5G subscriptions in North America and Europe will reach 205 million and 235 million respectively.
Chinese operators are expected to invest over $180 billion over the next five years in network capital expenditures, roughly 90% of which will be on 5G networks.
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