When Is 5G Coming To China?

5G is the new wireless frequency that’s being rolled out worldwide. Most of the world is running on 4G and 4G LTE, and so, just about the world as a whole is working on infrastructure to move over to 5G networks — Canada, the United States, Australia, and even China. China actually might be one of the countries rolling out the infrastructure the quickest.

That’s because some regions and major cities were lit up with 5G technology in May of 2020, and some test sites even earlier than that. Still, also though they’re ahead in this area, there’s a long road until the entire nation transfers over to the 5G spectrum.

In the meantime, does China have any timetables for when we can expect to see 5G nationwide? Follow along below — we’ll show you the inside scoop.

China Mobile 5G

Right now, Chinese users on China Mobile can access 5G wireless networks in Beijing, Shanghai, and almost another 50 cities. With over a billion customers, China Mobile is working as fast as possible to bring 5G to its customers.

5G will actually be way more affordable on China Mobile than it is in the United States. China Mobile’s 5G plans are available for less than $20. That $20 goes far, getting you 30GB of data at max speeds of 300 Mbps.

China Mobile certainly isn’t new to 5G. They’ve been vigorously researching the technology since 2015 and in partnership with other companies. That said, China Mobile should roll out 5G very quickly.

China Unicom 5G

Up next, we’re looking at China Unicom, the world’s fourth largest telecom giant. China Unicom is owned by the Chinese government and has tons of subscribers all over the nation. That said, it’s only common sense that China Unicom is a front runner in the 5G race.

China Unicom was probably one of the earliest testers of the fifth-gen network. Before the official launch of 5G, they had a fifth-gen network set up in very few locations around China. Just about all of these were test projects for a broader rollout, except for 5G base stations in Tiananmen Square.

China Unicom hasn’t mentioned all of the cities where the fifth-gen network has launched. But according to their website, they have launched in Beijing, Tianjin, Qingdao, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Wuhan, Guiyang, Chengdu, Fuzhou, Zhengzhou, and Shenyang. The telecom providers ays that the plan is that each of these locations throughout China will build out an additional 100 5G base stations.

China Telecom 5G

China Telecom might be one of the few telecom providers in China that are moving pretty slowly. Right now, the only 5G coverage you will see is in a subway called Taipingyang Station. They also have some 5G coverage in airports and around pockets of Hubei.

3 Hong Kong 5G

3 Hong Kong 5G has yet to launch a 5G wireless network in Hong Kong. That said, they did announce in November 2018 that they completed a 5G outdoor trial run for 3.5GHz and 28GHz spectrum bands. They did this test at one of their test sites in Causeway Bay, achieving speeds of over 2Gbps.

That said, they are hard at work preparing for a launch. In October 2019, 3 Hong Kong made a successful bid for wireless spectrum in the 3.5GHz range. That’s what they will start their 5G deployment on, but nothing has officially launched just yet.

When will all of China see 5G?

All of China isn’t going to get “lit up” with 5G wireless networks magically. Just like 4G and 4G LTE, it has taken a significant amount of time to roll out nationwide.

That said, China already leads the world when it comes to mobile networks. That said, it’s only common sense that they would continue to hold the torch in fifth-gen networks as well. GSMA did a study that estimates 460 million 5G connections in China by 2025. That’s a significant amount of 5G users, but remember, China has one of the largest populations in the world as well.

In the United States, most telecom providers are planning on having around a quarter of a million users hooked up in 2024, which is roughly 75% of the population in the United States.

What about 6G?

Of course, now that 5G is rolling out on a commercial level, everyone is wondering when 6G will get here. China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology started researching 6G in early 2018 and is currently estimating that commercial networks will start rolling out by 2030.

Similar to 5G, China Mobile and China Unicom will likely be some of the first adopters of this new wireless network, all because of the sheer amount t of network subscribers they have.


As you can see, China is working hard on rolling out 5G nationwide. Two of the nation’s largest carriers have big plans for 5G, and if estimates from GSMA are accurate, they plan — along with other carriers — to have nearly half a billion people hooked up by 2025.

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