China Mobile has completed the first phase of its 5G build-out and is now tendering for the second, reports China Securities Journal.
The operator is seeking to acquire over 232,000 base stations as it looks to extend coverage to 28 regions of China. Currently its 5G footprint covers 50 cities, and China Mobile is aiming to have a total install base of 300,000 sites by the end of this year.
However, these rollout plans could be disrupted by the spread of Covid-19 (coronavirus). Speaking in February, China Mobile VP Qin Jian said that while the operator was planning to push deployment through the rest of the year, it was possible that the situation with coronavirus could stymie these plans.
China’s Big Three operators received 5G commercial licences last summer, with all three launching commercial services towards the end of October that year. China Mobile selected Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia and ZTE as providers of 5G network equipment.
China Mobile is the largest mobile operator in the world. Its two national rivals, China Telecom and China Unicom, are partnering to build and operate 5G RANs across the country. The two smaller operators are also lining up their second tenders.