China has 757 million 5G users in January, the world’s largest
Published: Feb 22, 2022 11:59 AM
A coffee-brewing robot is displayed at the venue of 2021 World 5G Convention in Beijing, capital of China, Aug. 31, 2021. (Photo: Xinhua)

A coffee-brewing robot is displayed at the venue of 2021 World 5G Convention in Beijing, capital of China, Aug. 31, 2021. (Photo: Xinhua)

Major Chinese telecom operators revealed the latest number of 5G users on Monday. The growing users will be the key to laying the foundation for the technology to reach its scale efficiency soon in the country.

The total number of China Mobile's 5G users hit 401.27 million as of January, rising from 387 million at the end of 2021, according to an announcement by the carrier on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX) on Monday. 

Current levels of 5G adoption accounted for 41.7 percent of all China Mobile users, according to calculations done by the Global Times. 

China Telecom, another major carrier in the country, said its 5G users in January grew by 8.26 million to 196.06 million.

China Unicom has 5.57 million 5G users in January. The total 5G users linked to the carrier hit 160 million, accounting for half of the company's total user base. 

Even though a user can adopt different carrier's data package, the latest statistics of 5G users showed the technology is gaining more popularity in China. 

"There is a rising demand among users to adopt 5G as most newly launched smartphones in 2021 and 2022 were 5G devices. There won't a problem for 5G users at China Mobile to account for 60-70 percent," Ma Jihua, a veteran telecommunications industry analyst, told the Global Times on Tuesday. 

In November 2021, an official of China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said China's 5G users stood at 450 million, accounting for more than 80 percent of the estimated global user base. 

Ma said this showed China's position in the global landscape of 5G applications.

According to MIIT, China has 355 million mobile phone users who have adopted 5G as of the end of 2021. Nearly 1.43 million 5G base stations were rolled out in the country, forming the world's largest 5G network and accounting over 60 percent of the global 5G base stations. The ministry also said about 10.1 5G base stations are serving every 10,000 people in China in 2021.

"As the 5G development enters a new stage, a goal for Chinese carriers is to cover the network of rural China…Another task is to introduce more applications of 5G," Ma said, noting a new government project nicknamed "eastern data western calculation" to store and process more digital data in China's western provinces would help. 

Global Times