China Mobile had 5.32 million 5G customers. China Telecom and China Unicom each have about 1.75 million. Almost all have signed up in the last couple of weeks. The pace will presumably pick up after the opening later this month. The monthly price is US$20-30/month. Phone prices are down to US$520-700. The telcos are giving only modest subsidies, typically $50-70.

Those figures have been widely reported in the Chinese press but not officially announced. These are mega-billion dollar companies with audited financials and stock listings. I believe the figures are accurate. If so, China will almost certainly have more than 25 million subs by yearend. A low prediction for 2020 is 100 million; 206 is a plausible working estimate. Data is still very limited, however; we'll know more by the end of November.

Korea reported 2 million phones sold by August. The carriers have confirmed 5 million expected by yearend,

One confusion: Some articles report this as 10 million "reservations" as people wait for phones.


dave ask

@analysisbranch for latest updates


Welcome  Asia is installing hundreds of thousands of 5G radios and adding 5G subs by the tens of millions. The west is far behind. 200,000,000 in 2020

The demand is there, and most of the technology works. Meanwhile, the hype is unreal. Time for reporting closer to the truth.

I'm Dave Burstein, Editor. I've been reporting telecom since 1999. I love to hear from readers and say thank you when you find an error.

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