China 5G subscriber count approaches 900M

China’s three mobile players signed up an additional 30.1 million 5G package subscribers in May, taking their combined figure to 899.3 million and accounting for the vast majority of the global total.

China Mobile added 18.2 million to end May with 495.1 million. Since the beginning of the year, it picked up 108 million.

Rival China Telecom added 7 million in May, taking its total to 224.5 million, with 36.7 million added in the opening five months.

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China Unicom closed May with 179.7 million, up 4.9 million from the previous month and 24.7 million since the start of the year.

The number of subscribers with both 5G service plans and compatible handsets is much lower than the package counts. In March, China Mobile revealed it had 190 million real 5G users at end-2021 compared with 387 million package customers.

China Mobile’s total mobile subscribers increased by 9.7 million in May to 966.6 million and China Telecom’s by 8.7 million to 381.1 million. China Unicom hasn’t disclosed mobile subscriber numbers in 2022, but released totals combining mobile, fixed, broadband and IoT connections.