China’s main financial hub Shanghai has already deployed 51,716 5G base stations by the end of April, with 20.8 5G base stations per 10,000 residents, Chinese press reported.
According to the report, the average annual growth rate of 5G base stations in Shanghai has exceeded 65% in recent years. Also, the city of Shanghai had built 8.2 5G base stations per square kilometer as of the end of April, according to the Shanghai Communications Administration.
Chinese operators have already invested CNY12.3 billion ($1.82 billion) in 5G infrastructure since June 2019, accounting for 32.8% of total investments in the telecommunications sector since that date.
The Shanghai branches of China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom had ended April with more than 9.3 million 5G mobile phone users, accounting for 21.3% of the total.
Chinese operators recorded a net gain of 21.15 million 5G subscribers in April, according to the carriers’ latest available figures.
China Mobile, the world’s largest operator in terms of subscribers, added a total of 10.36 million 5G subscribers during the month. The operator said it ended April with 476.9 million 5G subscribers, compared to 205.29 million 5G customers in April 2021.
China Mobile had added a total of 79.75 million subscribers in the 5G segment during the first quarter of the year.
Rival operator China Unicom said it added a total of 4.11 million 5G subscribers during April. The carrier ended the month with 174.76 million 5G subscribers.
Meanwhile, China Telecom added 6.68 million 5G subscribers in April to take its total 5G subscribers base to 217.4 million. During the first quarter, the telco had added a total of 22.95 million 5G subscribers.
Chinese telcos have already deployed nearly 1.6 million 5G base stations nationwide, according to Zhang Yunming, deputy head of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).
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, according to previous reports.
Chinese carriers reportedly deployed a total of 654,000 base stations nationwide during last year.
The country’s 5G networks now covers all prefecture-level cities, more than 98% of county-level urban areas and 80% of township-level urban areas across the country.
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.
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.