China already has 9 million 5G subscribers ahead of launch

(Image credit: China Mobile)

China isn’t hanging around when it comes to boosting its 5G subscriber levels. The country’s three mobile operators have managed to hit a total of almost 9 million subscribers ahead of the official 5G roll-out, according to The Beijing News.

China Mobile has 5.32 million subscribers, China Telecom has 1.76 million, and China Unicom is just behind with 1.75 million users. These numbers are impressive considering that these subscribers haven’t even had a chance to test the 5G technology yet. 

When will 5G arrive? 

It isn’t known exactly when 5G is expected to arrive in China, but Beijing News speculated that we could see an October roll-out, with all three mobile operators launching simultaneously. 

This makes sense, as China Telecom and China Unicom announced in August that they will jointly build and share their 5G infrastructure. This was to speed up the roll-out and cut costs, so it makes sense that China Mobile might have joined the party.

Ambitious plans 

China’s 5G build certainly consists of some very ambitious plans. The Beijing News reports the following:

  • That 10,000 new 5G base stations in Beijing by the end of the year
  • That Guangzhou aims to have 20,000 5G base stations in 2019
  • And that Shenzhen will have 15,000 5G base stations in the same period

So, how much are these subscribers paying? Originally, operators planned to charge 200 yuan ($28/£22.80) per month for 5G subscriptions. However, this caused a degree of consternation, and so they adjusted this to between 140 yuan ($19.60/£16) and 160 yuan ($22.40/£18.30) per month.

Fiona Leake

Fiona discovered her love for investing and making money from a young age. Since then this interest has grown and now she loves writing about investing and business, and follows the 5G market closely. She is also a technology enthusiast, and so they tend to be her favourite investments.