Chinese telcos to deploy 8,000 5G base stations in Shanghai in 2021

Chinese telcos expect to deploy 8,000 5G outdoor base stations in Shanghai this year, as part of efforts to boost 5G networks in this city, local news agency Xinhua reported.

Shanghai will focus on advancing digital transformation and accelerate the construction of a digital hub, said the city’s mayor Gong Zheng.

The official added that Shanghai will further develop the city’s digital economy this year by focusing on key areas such as smart factories, industrial Internet, and e-commerce platforms.

By the end of October last year, Shanghai had a total of 31,400 5G outdoor base stations and 49,800 indoor 5G base stations, achieving continuous 5G coverage in the city and key suburban areas.

According to the city’s draft 14th Five-Year Plan, Shanghai will promote the construction of 5G standalone (SA) networks and achieve full 5G coverage in the city by 2025. The average download speed of the 5G network is expected to reach 500 Mbps in the city, according to the plan outlined in the report.

Large Chinese cities including the capital, Beijing, and Shenzhen already have full 5G coverage. Chinese press recently reported that mobile operators will deploy an additional 6,000 5G base stations in China’s capital during 2021.

Chinese operators have deployed nearly 700,000 new 5G base stations in 2020, in addition to about 100,000 5G base stations built in 2019. In 2021, local carriers are expected to deploy approximately 600,000 5G base stations, according to recent reports.

Local carriers say that they already provide 5G coverage in all Chinese cities at prefecture level and above.

China Mobile, the world’s largest operator in terms of subscribers, added 17.62 million 5G subscribers in December, according to statistics published on the carrier’s website.

The operator said it ended 2020 with a total of 165 million 5G subscribers, compared to 6.7 million 5G customers in January.

The carrier has already deployed over 385,000 5G base stations nationwide, according to recent press reports.

Yang Jie, chairman of China Mobile, previously said that the carrier finished its annual 5G network build-out target ahead of schedule and has built the world’s largest 5G SA network.

Meanwhile, rival operator China Telecom added 7 million subscribers in December to take its total 5G subscribers base to 86.50 million.

China Telecom’s overall mobile base amounted to 351 million subscribers at the end of December.

China Unicom hasn’t revealed its 5G numbers.

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.

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