Until the companies or MIIT reveal definite plans, it's impossible to give a firm estimate of China's 2019 build. China just moved up the date of officially going commercial, and Minister Miao ordered the telcos to accelerate 5G. Training the tens of thousand installers needed could hold things back. My guess is the higher estimates are more likely, especially after Minister Miao Wei ordered the telcos to "accelerate."

Analyst Joe Madden last summer predicted a "tidal wave" of China 5G. Early this year, Bing Dong of Nomura estimated 172,000 5G cells in 2019.  Few in the West accepted those figures. After all, the combined networks of AT&T and Verizon are below 172,000 bases.

In February, the three Chinese carriers released capital spending plans for 2019. They weren't explicit about how many base stations they would cover, but my inference from their numbers was the 2019 total would be about 70,000.  Several Chinese news sources continue to use similar numbers.

Late May, China Daily reported that the three giants would each have 30,000 to 50,000 5G bases in October, referencing ZTE and China Mobile. This week, Sina.com.cn reported an analyst estimate over 200,000. 

The companies may be waiting for a few months results before making a plan. 

dave ask


Rethinking Jan 27: Coronavirus could invalidate all projections. I reported on AIDS for 2 years. This could be worse because it spreads in air. Let us hope and pray.

Details on all 5G phones, as prices drop to $285 ** All actual 5G networks worldwide ** Facebook ordered to repost Italian fascist page. ** Apple China sales down 35%** Qorvo sees 300M 5G 2020 & 750M 2023 mmWave <10%

** Bharti demands India Gov more than double prices and enforce cartel. Sunil Mittal "Situation is dire. It is a matter of survival for everyone." ** Wi-Fi 6 meets ITU 5G criteria @stephenjcrowley ** Samsung $8B for Chinese memory plants ** Morgan paying billions for Altice fiber

Dec 10 Sprint bringing $300-500 5G phones to US 2020. Nokia, Lenovo, HMD ** H., Apple, and AMD doing 5 nm test runs on TSMC's 5 nm. Early results are 15-30% better than 7 nm ** AT&T low-band 5G built to >65% US. Speeds slower than 4G at launch. ** 

Verizon CEO Ronan Dunne: >1/2 VZ 5G "will approximate to a good 4G service" Midband in "low hundreds" Mbps ** CFO John Stephens says AT&T is going to cut capex soon. ** Huawei in 16 days sold 1,000,000 5G Mate 20s.  


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. daveb@dslprime.com

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