China Mobile, the world’s largest operator in terms of subscribers, added 16.65 million 5G subscribers in May, according to the carrier’s latest available figures.
The carrier said it ended last month with 221.95 million 5G subscribers, compared to 55.60 million 5G customers in May 2020.
China Mobile’s overall mobile subscriber base at the end of May amounted to 942.8 million, down compared to 941.7 million in the previous month.
The Chinese operator has already deployed over 385,000 5G base stations nationwide, according to previous press reports.
Meanwhile, Chinese operator China Unicom said it added a total of 7.53 million 5G subscribers during May.
The telco ended May with 106.1 million 5G subscribers, up from 98.56 million the previous month. China Unicom started to provide 5G statistics earlier this year.
China Unicom reported an overall mobile base of with 309.7 million subscribers at the end of May, up from 305.8 million in May 2020.
Rival operator China Telecom added 6.72 million 5G subscribers in May to take its total 5G subscribers base to 124.49 million.
China Telecom’s overall mobile base amounted to 360.67 million subscribers at the end of the May, after adding 2.85 million customers during the month.
China ended the first quarter of the year with a total of 819,000 5G base stations, up from 771,000 5G sites at the end of 2020, according to a recent report published by Chinese paper Global Times.
For the full-year 2021, Chinese operators aim to install over 600,000 5G base stations, according to the report.
Earlier this year, Liu Liehong, vice minister of industry and information technology, had said that 5G Standalone networks covered all prefecture-level cities across China.
The ministry also estimated 5G mobile phone shipments in China would account for 80% of the total shipments in the second half of this year.
China is forecast to reach 739 million 5G subscribers by 2025, according to a recent study by ABI Research. This figure would represent nearly 40% of the global market share in the 5G segment.
In terms of the annual mobile data consumption, the 5G annual data traffic in China is forecast to reach 782 exabytes by 2025, representing a share of nearly 60% of the world’s total 5G data consumption.