Chinese carriers add 40.93 million 5G subscribers in August

Shanghai China telco 5G

Chinese operators recorded a net addition of 40.93 million 5G subscribers in August, according to the carriers’ latest available figures.

China Mobile, the world’s largest operator in terms of subscribers, added a total of 24.53 million 5G subscribers in August.

The carrier said it ended August with 304.14 million 5G subscribers, compared to 98.15 million 5G customers in August 2020.

China Mobile has added a total of 139.14 million subscribers in the 5G segment since the beginning of the year.

China Mobile’s overall mobile subscriber base at the end of August reached 951.10 million, up compared to 947.40 million in the previous month.

Meanwhile, Chinese operator China Unicom said it added a total of 7.99 million 5G subscribers during August.

During the first eight months of the year, the carrier added a total of 58.23 million 5G subscribers.

The telco ended August with 129.06 million 5G subscribers. China Unicom started to provide 5G statistics earlier this year.

China Unicom reported an overall mobile base of with 312.95 million subscribers at the end of August, up from 311.61 million in July.

Rival operator China Telecom added 8.41 million 5G subscribers in August to take its total 5G subscribers base to 146.62 million.

China Telecom’s overall mobile base amounted to 366.88 million subscribers at the end of August, after adding 2.18 million customers during the month.

Chinese carriers had already deployed more than 1 million 5G base stations by the end of August, according to recent reports by Chinese press.

Zhao Zhiguo, spokesman of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said local operators had built a total of 1.037 million 5G base stations by the end of August, covering all prefecture-level cities across the country and with 5G services available in more than 95% of counties and urban areas and 35% of towns.

China Broadcast Network and China Mobile have recently completed a tender to deploy 400,000 5G base stations this year, as part of the companies’ efforts to launch a shared 5G network. The contracts had been won by Huawei, ZTE, Datang, Nokia and Ericsson.

The two carriers expect this shared network to reach nationwide coverage within the next two years.

Earlier this year, Liu Liehong, vice minister of industry and information technology, had said that 5G Standalone networks covered all prefecture-level cities across China.

The ministry also estimated 5G mobile phone shipments in China would account for 80% of the total shipments in the second half of this year.

China is forecast to reach 739 million 5G subscribers by 2025, according to a recent study by ABI Research. This figure would represent nearly 40% of the global market share in the 5G segment.