China’s three telecom carriers have reserved up to RMB 34.2 billion (US$5.1 billion) this year to conduct 5G trials ahead of planned commercialization of this next-generation mobile internet in 2020.
The figure comes from adding the budgets each carrier has allocated to 5G infrastructure development.
China Mobile has set aside RMB 17.2 billion as the company plans an annual capital expenditure of RMB 167.1 billion, with RMB 149.9 billion not related to 5G network expenses, according to China News Service, citing chairman Yang Jie’s remarks on the company’s 2018 financial results.
China Unicom has a 5G budget between RMB 6 billion to RMB 8 billion, while China Telecom has a budget of RMB 9 billion, according to China News Service, citing these two carriers’ financial statements.
The Chinese government in early December granted different spectrums to these three carriers so that they could start conducting trials on 5G, a necessary step towards the country’s plan to commercialize 5G in 2020.
China Mobile’s Yang added that in 2019 the carrier will add 30,000 to 50,000 base station to extend its 5G networks.
China has already built out a much higher 5G site density than the US, according to a report Deloitte released in 2018.
China had 14.7 sites per 10,000 people, 5.3 sites per 10 square miles while the US had 4.1 sites per 10,000 people, 0.4 sites per 10 square miles. Japan had 17.4 sites per 10,000 people, 15.2 sites per 10 square miles.
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