China Unicom has already deployed a total of 130,000 5G base stations across China, Chinese news agency Xinhua reported.
Of that total, 115,000 5G base stations were built in partnership with rival operator China Telecom. The 5G base stations provide commercial services in over 50 cities across the country. In September 2019, China Telecom and China Unicom inked an agreement to cooperatively build a 5G mobile network, with the main aim of reducing costs.
The company estimated its 5G base stations would reach 300,000 by the end of this year, covering all prefecture-level cities.
China Unicom recently said the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in China had slowed the deployment of 5G networks and impacted business development. In a statement, Wang Xiaochu, China Unicom chairman and CEO, said he expects 5G user growth to accelerate in the second half of 2020, as 5G network deployments accelerate and prices of 5G devices decline and more innovative applications emerge.
Chinese mobile operators are expected to deploy over 600,000 5G base stations by the end of 2020.
China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom have already built more than 250,000 5G base stations across China, according to recent information from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).
According to official data, the number of 5G subscribers in China currently exceeds 36 million.
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.
According to the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, 5G technology is expected to create more than 8 million jobs in China by 2030.
It is forecasted that 28% of China’s mobile connections will be running on 5G networks by 2025, accounting for about one-third of all 5G connections globally, according to a report by the GSMA.
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