In a few months, China will have more 5G sites than the entire western world.  "Michael Gao Wenhao of ZTE told China Daily that by Oct 1, China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom will each deploy 30,000 to 50,000 base stations in some 40 cities." Alex Cheng of China Mobile confirmed the story.

From other sources, I know that China will very rapidly go first to 1,000,000 bases and after that to 2,000,000. 90%+ of the country will soon be covered. The Politburo has decided that a great Internet will help the economy. Minister Miao Wei told the companies to do it.

No one should be surprised by the size of the rollout. In January, I reported the Nomura estimate that China will have 172,000 sites in 2019.

Deployment is now well begun and set to accelerate in June. This is confirmed by the volume of components being shipped to China.

Ericsson, Huawei, and ZTE are the suppliers. By informal government mandate, Ericsson and Nokia would each get about 10% of the orders, part of a political deal reached with the EU a few years ago. Huawei and ZTE have orders for 100,000 radios in hand.

Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri told investors he decided not to participate because the prices would be too low. That Nokia gave up on the enormous China contract was startling, leading to speculation that Suri's true path forward was to sell the company to either Ericsson or Samsung. There is no confirmation that is the actual plan.

The networks will all be 2.5 GHz to 4.9 GHz midband. The likely real speeds will be 100-500 megabits down, with a gigabit peak widely advertised. China Mobile has particularly valuable spectrum at 2.5 GHz, with better reach than the 3.5 GHz the other two carriers will be using.

Google news does not have any U.S. or European coverage yet, but I have multiple sources.

dave ask

Newsfeed

The 3.3-4.2 spectrum should be shared, not exclusively used by one company, concludes an important U.S. Defense Innovation Board report. If more wireless broadband is important, sharing is of course right because shared networks can yield far more

It does work! Verizon's mmWave tests over a gigabit in the real world. 
The $669 OnePlus 7 Pro outclasses the best Apples and probably the new Galaxy 10 or Huawei P30 Pro. Optical zoom, three cameras, liquid cooling, Qualcomm 855 and more.
Korea at 400,000 5G May 15. Chinese "pre-commercial" signing customers, 60,000-120,000 base stations in 2019, million+ remarkable soon. 
5G phones Huawei Mate 20, Samsung Galaxy 10, ZTE Nubia, LG V50, and OPPO are all on sale at China Unicom. All cost US$1,000 to 1,500 before subsidy. Xiaomi promises US$600.
Natural monopoly? Vodafone & Telecom Italia to share 5G, invite all other companies to join.
Huawei predicts 5G phones for US$200 in 2021, $300 even earlier
NY Times says "5G is dangerous" is a Russian plot. Really.
Althiostar raised US$114 million for a virtual RAN system in the cloud. Rakuten, Japan's new #4, is using it and invested.
Ireland is proposing a US$3 billion subsidy for rural fibre that will be much too expensive. Politics.
Telefonica Brazil has 9M FTTH homes passed and will add 6M more within two years. Adjusted for population, that's more than the U.S. The CEO publicly urged other carriers to raise prices together.
CableLabs and Cisco have developed Low Latency XHaul (LLX) with 5-15 ms latency for 5G backhaul,  U.S. cable is soon to come in very strong in wireless. Details 
Korea Telecom won 100,000 5G customers in the first month. SK & LG added 150,000 more. KT has 37,500 cells. planning 90% of the country by yearend. 
The Chinese giants expect 60,000 to 90,000 5G cells by the end of 2019.
China Telecom's Yang Xin warns, "Real large-scale deployment of operators' edge computing may be after 2021." Customers are hard to find.
Reliance Jio registered 97.5% 4G availability across India in Open Signal testing. Best in world.

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Welcome On Oct 1, 2019 Verizon turned on the first $20B 5G mmWave network with extraordinary hopes. The actual early results have been dismal. Good engineers tell me that will change. Meanwhile, the hype is unreal. Time for reporting closer to the truth.

The estimates you hear about 5G costs are wildly exaggerated. Verizon is building the most advanced wireless network while reducing capex. Deutsche Telekom and Orange/France Telecom also confirm they won't raise capex.

Massive MIMO in either 4G or "5G" can increase capacity 3X to 7X, including putting 2.3 GHz to 4.2 GHz to use. Carrier Aggregation, 256 QAM, and other tools double and triple that. Verizon sees cost/bit dropping 40% per year.

Cisco & others see traffic growth slowing to 30%/year or less.  I infer overcapacity almost everywhere.  

Believe it or not, 80% of 5G (mid-band) for several years will be slower than good 4G, which is more developed.