The official city plan calls for the "double gigabit" for all 9 million homes in Shanghai. FTTH is everywhere. 5G will deploy to 10,000 base stations by 2020, aiming for complete city coverage. The Chinese have chosen to emphasize Mid-band 5G for gigabit peak speeds. Users will usually connect at 100-400 megabits, 4G speeds. 

The city is also planning 100 cloud data centres with 16,000 racks. They are confident of over 100 "metropolitan IoT" applications. The definition of Edge depends on whom you ask. 5G network designers expected "Edge" to be at each cell or close. No company has committed to building a network like that. Shanghai, like Deutsche Telecom, is building further from the home but inside its own core network. For clarity, I call that an Edge/core network.

Shanghai houses less than 1/50th of the Chinese population. 50 X 10,000 cells would be 500,000. Shanghai is one of the richest and most advanced cities in China. I would apply perhaps a ten times multiplier and come to a wild guess of 100,000 base stations in 2020. That would be more than the United States.  

China Mobile and China Telecom plan 2,000,000 base stations each, dwarfing all others. Analyst Joe Madden reported a 5G Chinese "Tidal wave" to make sure they would be far ahead in the silly 5G propaganda war. He based his reports on equipment orders, which usually is an accurate method.

The last official word was months ago. It included 10,000 stations for China Mobile. 

Things are accelerating but I don't know how fast. 

dave ask

@analysisbranch for latest updates


Welcome  Asia is installing hundreds of thousands of 5G radios and adding 5G subs by the tens of millions. The west is far behind. 200,000,000 in 2020

The demand is there, and most of the technology works. Meanwhile, the hype is unreal. Time for reporting closer to the truth.

I'm Dave Burstein, Editor. I've been reporting telecom since 1999. I love to hear from readers and say thank you when you find an error.

Also see,