GSMA: China’s 5G market set to top 1 billion this year

China’s state sponsored 5G market is expected to add almost US$260 billion to its gross domestic product in 2030, with its 5G connections accounting for nearly a third of the worldwide total according to a recent GSMA report.

The report forecasts that more than half of Chinese mobile connections will be 5G by the end of 2024. 5G’s contribution to GDP in China is expected to reach almost $260 billion in 2030, which is 23% of the overall annual economic impact of mobile in China. Also by 2030, 5G connections in China will account for nearly a third of the global total, with 5G adoption in China reaching almost 90%, making it one of the leading markets globally.

The mobile industry contributed to 5.5% of China’s GDP last year, and in each of the coming years through 2030, nearly a quarter of that contribution will come from 5G – the highest echelon of current cellular technology – per the results of a study issued on Tuesday by the Group System for Mobile communications Association (GSMA).

Overall, the mobile market’s contribution to the Chinese economy will reach around US$1.1 trillion in 2030, GSMA said.  Mats Granryd, Director General of the GSMA, said:

“It is great to see China, the world’s largest 5G market, commit so enthusiastically to the GSMA’s Open Gateway initiative to help drive the growth and maturity of the technology. As China surpasses 1 billion 5G connections this year, we expect to see further investment and potential in evolutions such as 5G-Advanced, 5G New Calling and 5G RedCap to improve user experience and unlock new revenue streams for operators.”

Photo credit: Shutterstock

GSMA’s Mobile Economy China 2024 report said the country’s entire mobile sector has so far provided a total of nearly 8 million jobs directly and indirectly, and generated US$110 billion in tax revenue in 2023 alone.  According to that report:

  • There are now 1.28 billion unique mobile subscribers in China – a penetration rate of 88%
  • Mobile’s overall contribution to the Chinese economy in 2023 reached $970 billion, or 5.5% of GDP
  • 5G is expected to reach 1.6bn connections in 2030, representing a third of the world’s total, and forecast to contribute $260 billion to China’s GDP
  • An additional 290 million people in China now use mobile internet compared to eight years ago (2015), closing the country’s Usage Gap from 43% to just 16%
  • Mobile data traffic in China is expected to quadruple by the end of the decade
5G adoption in China “is growing faster than anticipated due to the speed of network deployments and a maturing device ecosystem,” the GSMA reported.

China has the world’s most mobile phone users by a wide margin. As of the end of last year, there were 122.5 mobile phones for every 100 people, according to figures from the National Bureau of Statistics.  The number of 5G base stations was nearly 3.38 million – a surge of 46% from a year earlier.

“China continues to set the pace for cutting-edge 5G technology standards,”the GSMA said, adding the country’s operators are “leading the way in the transition to 5G-advanced and 5G reduced capability networks. This is anticipated to kick-start a new round of 5G investment in 2024 and beyond.”

China is also investing heavily in research and development for the next generation of mobile technology, part of a global race to deploy a 6G network.  China Mobile, the world’s largest telecoms operator in terms of mobile subscribers, announced last month that it successfully launched the world’s first satellite to test 6G architecture.

One thought on “GSMA: China’s 5G market set to top 1 billion this year

  1. China Mobile has launched what it claims is the world’s first commercial 5G-Advanced network ahead of the standard’s expected completion later this year, and is collaborating with Ericsson to develop use cases for it.

    According to an Ericsson announcement released on Wednesday, China Mobile has launched 5G-A in 100 cities across China, and aims to expand coverage to more than 300 cities before the end of this year.

    China Mobile said it will promote 5G-A by launching over 20 5G-A-compatible devices later this year. The operator has set a target of at least 20 million 5G-A device users in 2024.

    The launch of 5G-A was accompanied by the establishment of an industry alliance for 5G-A innovations and use case development, of which Ericsson is a member.

    “In the future, Ericsson will continue to help China Mobile explore new 5G-A applications and services on domestic and foreign technology and industrial platforms, including the 5G-A Innovation Industry Alliance, carry out technological innovation, and jointly promote the maturity of the 5G-A industry chain by working together to innovate a new 5G-A commercial model,” Ericsson said in a statement.

    China Mobile’s 5G-A launch comes as the 3GPP is still putting the final touches on the standard under Release 18. According to the latest official 3GPP timeline, the standards work on the RAN side was frozen as of December 2023, while the work of the Service and Systems Aspects (SA) group for service and system architecture and the Core Network and Terminals (CT) group were scheduled to be frozen as of last month. Standards covering ASN.1 and Open API are scheduled to be completed in June 2024.

    Key features of Release 18 (apart from faster data speeds) include enhanced uplink coverage, intelligent network automation (including AI/ML RAN), flexible spectrum, improved energy efficiency, support for critical IoT use cases (including RedCap), and integration with non-terrestrial networks.

    In January, China Unicom and Huawei said that they had deployed and tested a pilot large-scale 5G-Advanced network in parts of Beijing with a downlink peak rate of 10 Gbps, and a continuous experience of at least 5 Gbps.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>