China’s 5G infrastructure push continues to accelerate

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China has already constructed over 690,000 5G base stations nationwide by the end of September, Chinese press reported citing information from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

The government also said that subscribers using applications such as ultra-high definition video, cloud games and virtual reality based on the 5G network already reach nearly 160 million.

In the first three quarters of 2020,  revenues from the country’s telecommunications industry amounted to CNY1.02 trillion ($150 billion), climbing 18.6% year on year, said Huang Libin, a ministry spokesman.

China’s fixed-asset investment in the telecommunications sector increased 16.5% year-on-year in the first nine months of the year. One third of total investment in the sector is oriented to the 5G segment, according to the report.

Earlier this week, China Tower said that it had constructed a total of 345,000 5G sites  in China as of the end of September. By the end of June, China Tower had 215,000 5G sites across the Asian nation. China Tower was formed in 2014, when the country’s mobile carrier China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom transferred their telecom towers to the new company.

Chinese carriers are experiencing a rapid acceleration in the number of 5G subscribers.

This week, China Mobile, the world’s largest operators in terms of subscribers, reported an addition of 44 million 5G subscribers in the third quarter of 2020.

The state-run telco said it ended September with a total of 114 million 5G subscribers, compared to 70 million 5G customers at the end of June.

Meanwhile, rival operator China Telecom added 7.66 million subscribers in September to take its total 5G subscribers base to 64.8 million.

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.

Large cities including capital Beijing and Shenzhen already enjoy full 5G coverage and 5G deployments are also accelerating in Shanghai.

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