GSMA: China Maintains 5G Leadership Role in the Face of COVID-19

GSMA Partners with Mobile Industry in China to Highlight 5G Momentum

Beijing: China has cemented its position as a global 5G leader as a result of significant operator investment, and growing enthusiasm amongst consumers and enterprises, according to several new industry studies published today. The GSMA is publishing a series of reports as part of ‘GSMA China Week’, an annual programme of events focused on the development of mobile industry in China, which is happening online this year. Topics include current 5G trends and 5G’s role in recovering from the COVID-19 outbreak in China.

Mobile operators in China launched commercial 5G services last year and are leading the way in diversifying their offerings for both consumer and enterprise customers. The 2020 China edition of the GSMA’s ‘Mobile Economy’ series, published today, forecasts that 5G will account for almost half of the country’s mobile connections by 2025[1], representing an adoption rate on a par with other leading 5G markets such as Japan, South Korea and the US. Chinese operator investment forecasts are more than $180 billion over the next five years in mobile CAPEX, roughly 90 per cent of which will be on 5G networks.

“China is leading early adoption in 5G and has already built more than 160,000 5G base stations covering more than 50 cities as operators aim to expand standalone 5G network coverage and capacity,” said Sihan Bo Chen, Head of Greater China, GSMA. “Unlocking the benefits of these next-generation networks, flexible policies, including for spectrum and infrastructure, are strategically important to support China’s ongoing transformation into a fully-fledged digital economy.”

The ‘Mobile Economy China 2020’ report features the latest GSMA Intelligence data on the state of mobile in China, including forecasts out to 2025, plus analysis of the industry’s social and economic impact, and the findings from GSMA Intelligence’s consumer and enterprise surveys. The report can be downloaded here in English or Chinese (infographics).

Other related GSMA reports published this week include:

‘Impacts of mmWave 5G in China’
The assignment of 5G mmWave spectrum[2] will be crucial to providing the increased bandwidth and capacity that high-performance 5G applications require; the report forecasts that mmWave 5G could contribute $104 billion to China’s GDP by 2034. It, therefore, calls on regulators to assign large, contiguous blocks of mmWave spectrum to operators to support data-intensive 5G applications and new use cases. Given the significance of manufacturing in China’s economy, industrial applications leveraging mmWave 5G present a great opportunity for China to drive economic growth.

Download the report here in Chinese or English.

‘5G use cases for verticals China 2020 – in collaboration with the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT)
This report comprises 15 case studies of 5G-powered applications for verticals, including industrial manufacturing, transportation, healthcare, education, content and more. These deployments serve to demonstrate the 5G opportunity for vertical customers in China and elsewhere. Contributing companies include China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, Datang Mobile, Ericsson, Haier, Huawei, Migu, Nokia Shanghai Bell and ZTE, among others.

Download the report here in Chinese or English.

‘Powered by SA case studies’
Mobile operators in China and rest of the world are testing deployments of standalone 5G with partners across several vertical sectors. The GSMA has produced five case studies to demonstrate how verticals, especially manufacturing, logistics, transportation and gaming can be powered by 5G standalone. These include 5G edge-based cloud gaming (China Mobile/ZTE), 5G network slicing for cloud gaming (China Unicom), smart grid network slicing (China Telecom/Huawei/SGCC), smart port security (China Mobile/Huawei), and 5G LAN support for IoT in cloud office (China Mobile).

Download the English case studies here.



About the GSMA
The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting more than 750 operators and nearly 400 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and internet companies, as well as organisations in adjacent industry sectors. The GSMA also produces the industry-leading MWC events held annually in Barcelona, Los Angeles and Shanghai, as well as the Mobile 360 Series of regional conferences.

For more information, please visit the GSMA corporate website at Follow the GSMA on Twitter: @GSMA.

Media Contacts: 
April Tsui
+852 2533 9956
[email protected]

GSMA Press Office
[email protected]

[1] China is forecasted to have a 5G adoption rate of 47 per cent (of connections) by 2025. China will have 807 million 5G connections by this point.

[2] Millimetre wave (mmWave) spectrum refers to frequency bands in the 24 GHz to 86 GHz range.