China reaches over 1.3 million 5G base stations nationwide: Report

China counts 497 million 5G users

Chinese operators have already installed more than 1.3 million 5G base stations across the country, state news agency Xinhua reported, citing data from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).

To date, the number of 5G users in China has reached 497 million, MIIT’s head Xiao Yaqing said

China expects to see the number of 5G users exceed 560 million by 2023, according to a government guideline released in July. By then, the 5G network is expected to be used by over 40% of personal mobile phone users, and every 10,000 people in China will enjoy more than 18 5G base stations, the guideline said.

In 2022, China will further advance the construction of 5G services and gigabit fiber optic networks, Xiao added.

Last month, 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.

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.

Xie Cun, director of the information and communication development department at the ministry, recently said that 5G base stations in China accounted for more than 70% of the global total, and that 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.

Chinese operators recorded a net gain of 35.16 million 5G subscribers in November, according to the carriers’ latest available figures.

China Mobile, the world’s largest operator in terms of subscribers, added a total of 18.86 million 5G subscribers during November.

The carrier said it ended November with 374.38 million 5G subscribers, compared to 147.38 million 5G customers in November 2020.

China Mobile has added a total of 209.38 million subscribers in the 5G segment since the beginning of 2021.

China Mobile’s overall mobile subscriber base at the end of November reached 956.78 million, slightly down compared to 957.10 million in the previous month.

Rival operator China Unicom said it added a total of 6.03 million 5G subscribers during November. China Unicom ended November with 149.5 million 5G subscribers.

Since the beginning of 2021, the carrier added a total of 78.71 million customers in the 5G segment.

China Unicom reported an overall mobile base of 317.34 million subscribers at the end of November, up from 316.83 million in October.

Meanwhile, China Telecom added 10.27 million 5G subscribers in November to take its total 5G subscribers base to 178.76 million. During the January-November period, the telco added a total of 92.26 million 5G subscribers.

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