China Has Built 240,000 5G Base Stations of Over Half a Million Planned

LI NA

(Yicai Global) May 18 — China’s three main telecom operators have installed a total 240,00 base stations for fifth-generation networks to date amid plans to have more than half a million up and running by the end of this year.

China Mobile Communications Group had over 4.6 million base stations nationwide as of the end of April and 140,000 were for 5G, the company yesterday, which was World Telecommunication & Information Society Day. The firm plans to have over 300,000 fifth-gen base stations in place by the end of 2020.

China Telecommunications and China United Network Communications Group, or China Unicom, have collectively build 100,000 stations for 5G in 31 provinces and enabled 5G for use in 50 cities, the pair said. They hope to have 250,000 running by year-end.

“5G base stations nationwide are expected to total over 600,000 by the end of this year, and 5G users will exceed 200 million,” Dong Ming, China vice president at telecoms equipment giant Huawei Technologies, said at a recent forum.

Many provinces postponing tender invitations for 5G projects during the Covid-19 pandemic and traffic control led to delays in the delivery of communications devices, though the big three carriers are now ramping up construction of their 5G infrastructure across the country. They built 1,750 base stations in Guangdong province in the past week alone.

Sixty-two telecom operators in 32 countries had commercialized 5G networks by the first quarter, according to data from the Groupe Speciale Mobile Association, which predicts that global 5G users will reach 1.7 billion by 2025. There will be more users in China than the US, Europe and other Asian countries combined, it forecasts, with the industry contributing nearly USD1 trillion to China’s economy by then.

Editor: James Boynton

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