Chinese operators add 43.8 million 5G customers in October
Chinese operators recorded a net gain of 43.81 million 5G subscribers in October, according to the carriers’ latest available figures.
China Mobile, the world’s largest operator in terms of subscribers, added a total of 24.3 million 5G subscribers last month.
The telco said it ended last month with 355.52 million 5G subscribers, compared to 128.79 million 5G customers in October 2020.
China Mobile has added a total of 190.5 million subscribers in the 5G segment since the beginning of 2021.
China Mobile’s overall mobile subscriber base at the end of October reached 957.10 million, up compared to 955.70 million in the previous month.
Rival operator China Unicom said it added a total of 6.56 million 5G subscribers during last month. China Unicom ended October with 136.94 million 5G subscribers.
Since the beginning of the year, the carrier added a total of 72.68 million customers in the 5G segment.
China Unicom reported an overall mobile base of with 316.83 million subscribers at the end of October, up from 315.55 million in September.
Meanwhile, China Telecom added 12.95 million 5G subscribers in October to take its total 5G subscribers base to 168.49 million. During the January-October period, the telco added a total of 81.99 million 5G subscribers.
China Telecom’s overall mobile base amounted to 371.24 million subscribers at the end of last month, after adding 1.58 million customers during the month.
Earlier this month, 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.
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.