SHANGHAI, CHINA- China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile operator, has plans to deploy 5G commercial cities in over 50 cities across China by the end of this year, the company announced on the sidelines of Mobile World Congress 2019 Shanghai.
The carrier said that it aims to deploy over 50,000 5G base stations across China this year.
The company aims to expand the 5G commercial services to all Chinese cities above the prefecture level by 2020.
China Mobile said it is working to integrate 5G technologies with other new technologies, including artificial intelligence and the internet of things, with the aim of offering specific 5G-based solutions across different sectors in China.
China Mobile also said it expects to invest CNY3 billion ($440 million) for the development of 5G content, including high-definition videos and games.
Earlier this month, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) officially issued licenses for the launch of commercial 5G networks in the country.
The 5G permits were granted to state-run carriers China Mobile, China Unicom, China Telecom and state-owned broadcaster China Broadcasting Network.
At the end of last year, the MIIT issued licenses for 5G trials in a number of cities across China. Commercial rollout of 5G in China was initially expected to occur during 2020. However, the decision by the government to accelerate 5G deployment will trigger investment in the Chinese market.
During the industry event taking place in Shanghai, China this week, the GSMA announced that Asia’s mobile operators are set to invest $370 billion for the deployment of new 5G networks between 2018 and 2025.
Chinese carriers are forecast to invest $184 billion on 5G by 2025, the GSMA said.