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5G networks

China's 5G economy takes shape as carriers step up investment

China Mobile to build 50,000 base stations while peers form industrial alliances

5G technology was the talk of the Mobile World Congress in Shanghai in June, where China Mobile announced plans to build 50,000 base stations in 50 cities this year.   © Reuters

BEIJING -- China's state-run telecommunications companies are rushing to usher in the 5G era, not only for consumers but also for industries that stand on the cusp of data-driven technological transformations -- from steelmaking to health care.

China Mobile aims to build over 50,000 5G base stations in more than 50 cities across the vast mainland, enabling it to launch commercial service by the end of this year. Chairman Yang Jie announced the strategy on the sidelines of the Mobile World Congress 2019 in Shanghai in late June. The company also intends to launch its own smartphone brand and, in 2020, expand the base station network to around 300 cities.

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