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China built 600,000 5G base stations in just 3 months, 6x better than US

China has achieved building 3 million 5G base stations 6 months ahead of targeted time, by installing 600,000 such in just 3 months. China has inducted 6x more 5G stations in just three months than what U.S did in 2 years.

The rollout of 5G around the world is hastening up to readily accommodate the needs of industry, business and smart cars’ growth in aspects of technology. 5G stands out for its high speed – 100 times faster than 4G, low latency and device density, helping in seamless internet connection. Countries are incorporating the technology and amidst them, China is ahead in the race, having installed 3mn 5G base stations already.

China planned of achieving the 3mn target 5G stations by the end of the year, but completed it six months ahead, at the end of June, latest government data showed, as reported by South China Morning Post.

China and 5G

5G is the fifth-generation technology standard for broadband cellular networks, with ultimately high speed up to 20 Gbps and low latency in the order of 8 to 12 milliseconds. 5G will greatly facilitate the other technologies like AR/VR, automated cars, industries, IoT, advanced gaming, AI and robotics. To put it in simple words, you can download a whole movie in just six seconds, that’s how fast 5G is.

China is one of the foremost countries to implement 5G at a large scale with 3 million base stations already built. The number of base stations determines the coverage and capacity for a wireless network – the more are the base stations, the more is the coverage.

China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) set itself an ambitious goal of installing three million of them by the end of the year. With 600,000 installations completed in just last three months, China reaches its target six months ahead in time. In comparison, U.S built about 100,000 5G base stations in two years between 2019 and 2021, according to the latest available industrial estimate.

“As of the end of June, the number of 5G base stations in China had reached 2.937 million, covering all urban areas of prefecture-level and county-level cities, and the coverage is continuously expanding in both breadth and depth,” MIIT chief engineer and spokesman Zhao Zhiguo said in Beijing on Wednesday.

The 3 million 5G stations were connected to 676 million smartphones and over 2.12 billion devices connected to the network via 5G or mobile Internet of Things (IoT) terminals which includes smart home appliances, wearables and industrial sensors, Zhao said.

The rapid expansion of the network had in part been driven by Beijing’s push to boost economic growth, Zhao said. “We have been strengthening the construction of new information infrastructure and vigorously promoting the deep integration of the digital economy and the real economy,” he said.

Cost of 5G

China’s three carriers has launched 5G plans starting at just 128 yuan or $18 for 30GB monthly data. The price of average monthly tariff plans (150GB) for 5G network in China is much affordable at $55.41 (below 400 yuan), that’s cheaper than US’ $89 average monthly plan. India has one of the cheapest 5G rate with plans starting at just ₹349 ($4.5).


Though 5G rollouts started in 2019, the adaptation to the new technology gradually improves as few countries’ 4G network could almost hit the base speed of 5G. Indeed, there have been concerns that China’s massive investment in telecoms infrastructure might be hit by the economic slowdown of recent months.

Besides, critics also say that 5G could be a waste of money as 4G’s ultimate speed of 1Gbps, could meet the needs of most consumers.

Perks of 5G in China

Tao Qing, director of MIIT’s operation monitoring and coordination bureau, said 5G was more about smart manufacturing than the streaming of short videos. A large number of 5G-powered digital workshops and smart factories had been built across the country, where productivity had risen by more than a third, Tao said.

“The product development cycle of factories has been shortened by an average of 20.7 per cent [and] production efficiency has been increased by an average of 34.8 per cent,” she said.

5G adoption and integration had been a part of 40 sectors in China’s economy and more than 1000 industrial parks & enterprise were using 5G in China. The tech also supports the development of smart cities with real-time monitoring and control of traffic flow, energy consumption and environmental conditions in the country.

5G technology around the world can potentially create $13 trillion of economic output and over 22 million jobs, says Qualcomm’s estimates. And China wants to lead in the track.

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