China Unicom reveals 5G+4G network strategy details

China Unicom has revealed the telecom operator’s Capex related focus areas – ahead of its 5G network investment — for the year 2019.
China Unicom H1 2019China Unicom, announcing its earnings report today, said that it has spent 58 percent of the Capex on mobile network, 15 percent on fixed-line broadband and data, and 27 percent on infrastructure, transmission and others during the first half of 2019.

China Unicom, which is following 5G+4G network strategy, said its Capex in the first half has reached RMB 22 billion as compared with RMB 11.6 billion in H1 2018.

China Unicom aims to spend 48 percent of the Capex on mobile network, 18 percent on fixed-line broadband and data, and 34 percent on infrastructure, transmission and others during the entire 2019.

China Unicom has deployed 17,000 5G BTS in 40 cities nationwide — preparing for an accelerated 5G commercialisation in H2 2019. China Unicom has also expedited intelligent network upgrade by advancing SDN, NFV and network cloudification deployment.
China Unicom’s 5G services will reach 40-50 cities with the mobile operator planning to set up 40,000 5G BTS during 2019. China Unicom will be spending RMB 58 billion in 2019 as against RMB 44.9 billion in 2018. China Unicom will make 5G investment based on demand in the market.

China Unicom today said its number of 4G BTS reached 1.35 million. It added 180,000 LTE 900MHz BTS, significantly improving the depth of coverage and wide coverage in rural area in China.

China Unicom said 200,000 NB-IoT BTS are under operation, laying a foundation for IoT network upgrade.

China Unicom said its service revenue fell 1.1 percent to RMB133 billion in the first half of 2019. EBITDA rose 8.4 percent to RMB49.5 billion.

“The company will implement Internet-oriented operation and seek improvements in customer perception, operating efficiency and differentiated competitive advantages,” Wang Xiaochu, chairman and CEO of China Unicom, said.

The company’s mobile service revenue fell 6.6 percent to RMB78.7 billion. China Unicom added 9.32 million mobile billing subscribers, reaching a total of 320 million in June 2019.

China Unicom added 19.01 million 4G subscribers, reaching 240 million 4G subscribers in the first half.

China Unicom’s 4G subscriber market share rose by 0.8 percentage point. 4G penetration for mobile billing subscribers reached 74 percent (+6.4 percentage points). Mobile data traffic volume grew 62 percent.