China ends Q1 with over 400 million 5G users

APR 20, 2022

China added a total of 48.1 million 5G users during the first quarter of 2022

China ended the first quarter of the year with over 400 million 5G users, Chinese press reported, citing data from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).

The ministry noted that China is accelerating the construction of 5G base stations this year, supporting 5G applications in the industrial, education and other sectors.

In the first quarter of 2022, China added a total of 48.1 million 5G users to reach a total of 403 million. The ministry said that the country had reached a 5G penetration of 24.3%.

The Chinese government also highlighted that a 1-gigabit broadband network now reaches 320 million households nationwide, giving them access to super-fast broadband services.

Chinese operators aim to build 600,000 new 5G base stations this year, including 134,000 already built in the first quarter. China expects to end this year with nearly 2 million 5G base stations.

Chinese carriers have deployed a total of 654,000 base stations nationwide during last year.

The 5G network now covers all prefecture-level cities, more than 98% of county-level urban areas and 80% of township-level urban areas across the country.

Earlier this year, 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.

China is expected to reach 892 million connections in the 5G segment in 2025, according to a report recently published by the GSMA.

According to the ‘The Mobile Economy China” report, GSMA expects 5G connections in the country to represent 52% of total mobile lines in 2025, compared to 29% in 2021.

“Due to the rapid take-up of 5G in China, the region is one of the global leaders in terms of 5G adoption. In 2021, China added more than 285 million 5G connections, with its share of global 5G connections equivalent to 75%,” the report states.

GSMA noted that the Chinese regulator’s facilitation of commercial network-sharing agreements has enabled fast base station deployments and considerable cost savings for local operators. “Moreover, fully realizing the mobile opportunity will require forward looking policymaking, particularly with respect to spectrum. To this end, regulators should aim to make a total of 2 GHz of mid-band spectrum available to support the growth of 5G over the 2025–2030 period,” GSMA’s report said.

The report also stated that mainland China represents the single largest 5G market in the world, with 5G connections accounting for over three-quarters of the global total at the end of 2021.

Juan Pedro Tomás

Juan Pedro covers Global Carriers and Global Enterprise IoT. Prior to RCR, Juan Pedro worked for Business News Americas, covering telecoms and IT news in the Latin American markets. He also worked for Telecompaper as their Regional Editor for Latin America and Asia/Pacific. Juan Pedro has also contributed to Latin Trade magazine as the publication's correspondent in Argentina and with political risk consultancy firm Exclusive Analysis, writing reports and providing political and economic information from certain Latin American markets. He has a degree in International Relations and a master in Journalism and is married with two kids.

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