China is in the news again – for positive reasons, this time, with the GSMA, the organisation representing mobile operators and organisations across the mobile ecosystem and adjacent industries, suggesting it will be the first country to reach one billion 5G connections.
This was announced at a post-MWC 2023 event in Beijing where the GSMA presented its annual Mobile Economy China report, featuring milestones for mobile development in the region.
The suggestion that China will be the first market in the world to pass one billion 5G connections may not in itself be a surprise, as only India can match China for population. But the possibility that it will reach that milestone by 2025, as the GSMA suggests, would be pretty impressive, if achieved by that year. 5G connections in China will then reach 1.6 billion by 2030, the GSMA says, accounting for nearly a third of the global total.
Among other highlights of the report was the prediction that 5G will overtake 4G in 2024 to become the dominant mobile technology in China.
5G adoption in China continues to rise following expanding network deployments and more affordable devices. In fact, China’s 5G base stations exceeded 2.3 million by the end of 2022 and, in the same year, mobile technologies and services generated 5.5% of GDP in China – a contribution that amounted to US$1.1 trillion of economic value added.
These statistics will no doubt inform much of the discussion at this year’s MWC Shanghai; it’s planned for 28 – 30 June 2023, at the New International Expo Centre (SNIEC).