China Reaches 110 Million 5G Users, Becoming World’s Biggest 5G Market

(Source: China Mobile)

China has reached more than 110 million 5G users, making it the biggest 5G market in the world, announced Duo Liu, president of the China Academy for Information and Communications Technology (CAICT), a government-funded think tank, on Tuesday at a 5G industry forum in Chongqing.

China has been making headway in building 5G infrastructure since the state started issuing 5G licenses for commercial use over a year ago.

While major carriers are pushing the construction of 5G networks, combined effort from policymakers, telecoms companies, equipment makers and players from various industries have ensured the growth and proliferation of 5G.

With an average of 15,000 new base stations added every week, China had built 460,000 5G base stations by the end of July, an official said during a press conference in July. And the government plans to raise the total number to 600,000 by the end of the year, which will cover about 300 major cities in China.

In the meantime, the state is also propelling the exploration of 5G’s integrated application in Industrial Internet, Internet of vehicles, medicine, education and other key focus areas, said Xia Han, minister of Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China (MIIC).

As China’s rapid 5G development takes place, the demand for 5G smartphones is also skyrocketing around the world. A total of 24.1 million 5G smartphones shipments shipped globally in Q1 2020, according to Strategy Analytics. Chinese companies are taking the lead in the market competition – Huawei, Vivo, Xiaomi and Oppo account for more than 60% of the global 5G market share.

Domestically, the country has sold more than 93 million 5G smartphones so far this year, according to recent data from CAICT. 60% of the mobile phone shipments in August consisted of 5G phones and half of the new models released last month were 5G models.

The focal point of 5G development in China has shifted from scientific research to its application and accessibility, the president of CAICT said. The 110 million users are still a fraction of the overall mobile subscribers, which reached 1.6 billion according to the data released in July by China’s three major mobile carriers.

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It is estimated that by 2025, China’s 5G will bring in trillions of investments in telecom networks, industry networks and equipment, and stimulate trillions in mobile data consumption, information services and other products, according to the president of CAICT.