China ended 2021 with a total of 1.43 million 5G base stations across the country, Chinese press reported citing data from China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).
The ministry said that Chinese operators have deployed a total of 654,000 base stations nationwide during last year.
The 5G network now covers all prefecture-level cities, more than 98% of county-level urban areas and 80% of township-level urban areas across the country, said Zhao Zhiguo, a spokesperson for the MIIT.
Shipments of 5G smartphones last year increased by 63.5% year on year to reach 266 million units, Zhao said.
China’s “5G + industrial internet” strategy has formed 20 application scenarios involving remote equipment control and quality inspection system using machine vision in 10 key fields including mining, steel and power industries, Zhao added.
“This year, the ministry is committed to continuing the consolidation of 5G industrial foundations while advancing 5G network construction and promoting the development of 5G applications,” the official added.
China expects to see the number of 5G users exceed 560 million by 2023, according to a government guideline released in July. By then, the 5G network is expected to be used by over 40% of personal mobile phone users, and every 10,000 people in China will enjoy more than 18 5G base stations, the guideline said.
MIIT had recently unveiled plans to more than triple the number of 5G base stations over the next four years, targeting a total of 3.64 million by end-2025.
Under this plan, China aims to have 26 5G base stations for every 10,000 people by the end of 2025. In comparison, in 2020, there were five 5G base stations for every 10,000 people in China.