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China begins commercialized 5G rollout

05 November 2019

China has officially rolled out 5G commercialization nationwide after the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) made the announcement during PT Expo China 2019.

By the end of this year, China through its three main telecoms — China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom — will roll out more than 130,000 5G base stations in support of the network.

The news comes after China granted 5G commercial-use licenses five months ago to four players in the market including China Telecom, China Mobile, China Unicom and China Broadcasting Network Corp.

China originally was scheduled to begin deployment in 2020, but with the MIIT handing out licenses now, the process should accelerate with possible deployment by year’s end.

China is considered to be one of the leading countries in 5G readiness with numerous pre-commericial deployments already happening in 2019. China has 14 wireless cell sites per 10,000 people, compared to 4.7 wireless cell sites in the U.S. China also boasts more than five sites per every 10 sq mi compared to 0.4 sites in the U.S., according to a recent report from CTIA.

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