Beijing expects 1 billion 5G mobile devices in China by 2024

Beijing, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Chengdu have been identified as the top five Chinese cities to lead 5G development.

Chinese officials expect the number of 5G devices to grow rapidly in the country, the world's largest smartphone market, over the next five years, according to predictions from government-backed think tank CCID Consulting.

In China, the penetration rate of 5G mobile phones will reach 2% in 2020, 30% in 2022, and 75% in 2024 and the country will have more than 1 billion 5G mobile phones by that time, according to CCID Consulting as reported by Chinese media.

5G investment in China is expected to expand from 17.56 billion yuan ($2.5 billion) in 2019 to a peak of 229.17 billion yuan in 2023, according to CCID Consulting, but the think tank estimates 5G investments will start declining in 2024 to 221.65 billion yuan.

CCID Consulting's forecast on China's 5G industry follows China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) last Thursday granting 5G licences to its three biggest telcos China Mobile, China Unicom, and China Telecom and state-owned China Broadcasting Network, marking the commencement of the 5G era in China.

See also: S&P warns Huawei ban will hit US tech long-term

The three telcos in China will map out plans to officially roll out 5G services in more than 40 cities this year, mostly to first and second tier cities.

China Mobile said last year that its 5G services would be available in more than 40 cities across China by end-September this year. 

Beijing, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Chengdu have been identified as the top five Chinese cities to lead 5G development after considering indicators such as urban industry supporting, policy planning, investment scale, and number of enterprises and talents, according to CCID Consulting.

China's move to issue 5G licenses in June was well ahead of the expected timetable of the second half this year, with the market believing the country is trying to support Huawei, a market leader in 5G development which has been excluded in 5G development in several countries and hit by a US ban in recent months.

Huawei said it is ready to drive commercial adoption of 5G in the country, having already invested $2 billion in its 5G research and development efforts since 2009.   

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