China will deploy more 5G radios in 2019 than the entire Western world. A low estimate is 100,000. 200,000 is quite possible. I'm closely watching as the information trickles out to understand the market dynamics. Shanghai is just getting going, with 2,000 radios in place. Beijing already has 5,500. Each of the three telcos is also actively growing 5G in a dozen or more other cities. 

2020 will see 600,000 to 800,000 base stations according to Wei Liping of MIIT.  As 5G phone prices go down towards US$300, many of the 300,000,000+ bought each year in China will be 5G.

The U.S. war on Huawei is unlikely to hold the country back on base stations. FPGAs are the only important base station part that may be dependent on U.S. suppliers. FPGAs efficiently replace a small circuit board of chips. Huawei already has a dedicated chip for base stations. At worst, FPGAs can be replaced by a small circuit board.  DigiTimes reports Huawei is actively redesigning many boards to replace U.S. parts and meanwhile is slowing orders.

(Huawei will have a harder time replacing U.S. sourced radio frequency components for phones.

Qorvo, Skyworks, and AVAGO have done a remarkable job of miniaturizing RF components. Huawei phones might become slightly larger if the U.S. parts can't be sourced, perhaps 1/4 of an inch. The absence of Google apps will hurt phone sales in Europe. Huawei is currently cut off from Google applications, although its Android replacement, Ark, is all that's needed for China.)  

China Tower's 2.2 million cells will be upgraded very quickly.

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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