China shipped 63 million 5G phones domestically in the first half of the year, including 17 million in June. The phone figure is from CAICT, a government agency with no reason to underestimate. That's a remarkable achievement, more than twice as high as the total in the entire rest of the world. (15-25 million, details soon to follow.) It does not need puffing up. China is on track to easily reach the 150 million plan for yearend 2020.
However, China Mobile reports 70 million "5G contracts" up almost 15 million from May and almost 40 million since March. China Telecom reports 33 million, up ~8 million from May and 21 million from March. China Unicom doesn't report 5G figures but is about half China Telecom. "Contracts" are ~115 million. 4G & 5G contracts are the same price, so apparently many people are choosing "5G" contracts even if they don't have 5G phones.
One side effect of the discrepancy is that some figures for the global number of 5G subscribers are inaccurate. A reputable analyst firm put out a figure of 63.6 million 5G users for March, which was picked up by many. I'm almost sure it included the inflated figure of "contracts," as I pointed out to them. Word had circulated in the industry of the discrepancy before they released the figure, so I was surprised. The adjusted global figure for March should probably be ~45 million,
I was surprised they would not back up or correct an apparent error. "I make many mistakes," the butler said.
Currently, I'm researching whether I had a major error thinking mid-band 5G would be a major boost to capacity. We're starting to get data suggesting that indoor performance is awful. With indoor a large majority of wireless, if the results are confirmed the capacity boost from mid-band 5G will be much lower than in some analysis reports I've written. Data very welcome.