Update July 30: China is accelerating the 5G build and the figure will be much higher.
The news broke that 90,000-150,000 Chinese 5G sites will go live in October and things will accelerate after that. Ericsson will probably get 10% of the order, part of a political deal China reached with the EU several years ago. Nokia Shanghai Bell opted out because Suri thought the price was too low.
Huawei and ZTE will fight for the rest of the contract. Ren said, “Last week, in public bidding by China Mobile, we won contracts to build 5G networks for 37 of the 40 cities.”
The Chinese will have far more 5G in place by year-end than the entire Western World. The three giant telcos will quickly expand to over a million base stations and absorb an enormous amount of equipment.
The Politburo believes that a great Internet will help the Chinese economy. The 3 carriers are all state-controlled with minority shareholders. They could be directed to speed things up to protect a national champion.
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.