Tuesday, 27 June 2017

China to have 10bn connected devices by 2020

By Mary Lennighan, Total Telecom, in Barcelona
Wednesday 24 February 16

China Mobile is signing up 400 4G users per minute, aims for 500 million-plus by year-end.

There will be 10 billion connected devices in China in 2020, China Mobile chairman Shang Bing predicted earlier this week at Mobile World Congress, stressing that his company is already working hard on preparing for the 5G technology that will one day support those connections…

There will be 10 billion connected devices in China in 2020, China Mobile chairman Shang Bing predicted earlier this week at Mobile World Congress, stressing that his company is already working hard on preparing for the 5G technology that will one day support those connections.

That 10 billion compares with a global total of 50 billion at the same date, Bing said. Many industry stakeholders are sticking to that prediction, first made by Ericsson's then CEO-elect Hans Vestberg six and a half years ago, although others have since revised down their estimates, the Swedish kit maker included.

Whatever the total, China will doubtless account for a sizeable proportion of connected devices, and those devices will need infrastructure.

5G testing is underway in China, Bing said, speaking through a translator. The majority of telcos globally expect service launches to take place in around 2020.

In the meantime, China Mobile is concentrating on expanding its 4G offering.

As of the end of January, the operator had 335.56 million 4G customers out of a total mobile base of close to 829 million.

"[We have] more than 400 4G users joining per minute," Bing said.

The company aims to have in excess of 500 million 4G customers by the end of this year, he added.

To support those customers, the telco will have rolled out 1.4 million 4G base stations by end-2016.

It is also rolling out voice over LTE (VoLTE) during the first half of this year with a view to launching commercially in the second half.
 

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