Mobile Devices

Beijing tops 5 million 5G users

23 September 2020

Despite the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, the deployment of 5G users in China has risen quickly with Beijing hitting the 5 million 5G user mark, according to the Beijing Municipal Communications Administration.

The government agency said, as of last month, a total of 44,000 5G base stations have been put into operation in Beijing and that number is expected to rise to 50,000 by year’s end. The three major Chinese telecoms with 5G licenses — China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom — have used 5G in more than 1,000 projects.

The number of 5G users in Beijing has hit 5.06 million following the city's official launch of commercial 5G in 2019, local authorities recently said.

China began its deployment of 5G commercial networks in late 2019, but it is quickly expected to dominate deployments as the country has already deployed infrastructure to 50 cities even before the launch. According to ABI Research, Chinese operators expect 143 million 5G subscribers by the end of 2020, representing about 70% of total connections worldwide. These Chinese 5G deployments in 2020 are expected to carry smartphone shipments out of a three-year downturn, International Data Corp. (IDC) said.

While Chinese equipment vendor Huawei is currently muddled with countries not using its technology for future 5G expansion, the company was still able to take the top spot for smartphone shipments in the second quarter of this year for the first time ever, IDC said.

Huawei beat Samsung to the top smartphone spot with 20.0% market share, driven by growth in the domestic market, which offset large declines the company faced in other regions, IDC said. The impact of uncertainty given the ban on Huawei equipment in the U.S. and in other countries such as the U.K. — which recently changed its course on using Huawei equipment — Australia and New Zealand.

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