China Unicom announced the launch of its 5G trial network in seven cities. It did not reveal the name of telecom network partners for the 5G trials.
China Unicom, China’s second-largest telecom carrier by subscriber numbers, has selected cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Nanjing and Hangzhou, as well as Xiongan for 5G network trials.
China Unicom’s 5G network covers selected areas in 33 cities, with wider deployment of 5G private industrial networks in more cities dedicated for specific purposes.
According to research house Analysys Mason, China has a narrow lead over South Korea and the United States in overall 5G readiness. It attributes the nation’s advantage to a combination of positive government policies and industry momentum.
China is expected to have 576 million 5G users by 2025, according to global consultancy EY.
China’s 5G capital expenditure is expected to hit $223 billion between 2019 and 2025.
China Unicom has formed a 5G application alliance bringing together 32 industrial players including automaker Dongfeng Motor, heavy industry manufacturer ZPMC, equipment maker Huawei and internet company Alibaba, China Daily reported.
Major initiatives under the alliance include raising 10 billion yuan or $1.48 billion to incubate 5G-related projects and nurturing 20 specialized companies along the 5G industrial chain.
Shanghai Aircraft Manufacturing Co, part of aerospace manufacturer Commercial Aircraft Corp of China, is looking to leverage the combination of 5G, artificial intelligence and cloud computing to upgrade its industrial park.
China Unicom signed an agreement with the Shanghai municipal government, pledging to invest a total of 15 billion yuan by 2021 to help advance 5G networks and explore more application scenarios.
The city, which already hosts 500 5G stations, is looking to build itself into a 5G pioneering venue. It aims to construct 10,000 5G base stations by the end of this year and 30,000 by 2021.
China Mobile, the largest telecom operator in China, said in December that it plans to start 5G trials in 17 cities in 2019.
China Mobile facilitated the building of the world’s first district with both 5G coverage and a broadband gigabit network in Shanghai.
China Telecom said in September it will start trials of 5G applications in 17 cities and aim to launch commercial 5G services in 2020.
China Unicom revenue
China Unicom reported 24.8 percent surge in net profit in the first quarter of 2019 on the back of strong innovative businesses and improvements in cost control.
The telecom giant made 1.6 billion yuan or $238.8 million of net profit in the first three months.
Business revenues of China Unicom rose 0.3 percent to 66.8 billion yuan in the reporting period.
China Unicom’s 4G users increased by 10.52 million in Q1, bringing the total number to 230 million.