China Unicom has faced challenges in adding 5G customers to its 5G network during the first quarter of 2020.
China Unicom did not reveal the number of 5G subscribers on its 5G network. China Unicom said its 4G subscriber base reached 254.522 million in Q1 2020 as compared with 253.766 million in 2019.
The 4G subscriber-base of 254.522 million in Q1 2020 also includes its 5G customers. This means, China Unicom just added 0.756 million of 4G and 5G customers in the first quarter as compared with 2.621 million in Q4 2019.
Earlier China Mobile said that it has 752 million 4G customers on its LTE network and 31.72 million 5G customers during the first quarter of 2020. China Mobile plans to invest 100 billion yuan on 5G network construction this year, rising four times from a year earlier.
The estimated spending on 5G network by China Unicom will be 35 billion yuan this year. China Telecom will be spending 45.3 billion yuan on 5G network. China Tower said earlier that 17 billion yuan of the company’s budget in 2020 will go to 5G investment.
China Unicom lost 7.47 million mobile billing subscribers, reaching 311 million. Mobile ARPU was RMB 40. Mobile service revenue amounted to RMB 37,749 million, down by 4.1 percent year-on-year, where the rate of decline narrowed as compared to -5.3 percent for the full year of last year.
China Mobile set up 50,000 5G base stations and offered 5G commercial services for 50 cities across China by the end of 2019.
China Unicom also announced it had 60,000 base stations for 5G services. China Telecom built 40,000 5G base stations and it has 10.73 million users in 5G service packages.
China Unicom says it will capitalise on 5G network “co-build co-share” advantage to sharpen competitive edges, striving to drive mobile service revenue rebound via consumption upgrade led by 5G innovative applications.
It is expected that 5G network user growth will accelerate in the second half of this year, in pace with accelerated network deployment, proliferation and declining price of 5G terminals and more prevalent innovative applications, China Unicom said.