US wraps up mid-band auction as carriers prepare for wider rollout
The US and China will likely lead investments into 5G network in 2021. The US has wrapped up its mid-band auction, grossing US$80.9 billion this month. China was the leader in 5G investment in 2020 and will likely continue its pace this year.
Xiao Yaqing, the minister of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), said last month that the country plans to build over 600,000 5G base stations this year, according to state media Xinhua.
This is more than the 580,000 new 5G base stations rolled out in 2020.
China has so far built around 720,000 5G base stations, as of November last year, according to MIIT.
This is more than Huawei’s estimate of 680,000 made in march last year. The Chinese tech giant said there was 130,000 5G base stations as of 2019.
China’s 5G base stations currently uses mid-bands. China Mobile uses 160MHz between 2,515MHz and 2,675MHz and 100MHz between 4,800MHz and 4,900MHz.
China Telecom and China Unicom each uses 100MHz in the 3.5GHz spectrum. The two carriers have previously agreed to share 5G base stations to offer 5G services. The pair has so far built 330,000 5G base stations that are shared by both companies.
US’ Auction 107 sold 280MHz between 3.7GHz and 3.98GHz. With the bands allotted, companies will likely now begin their investments into 5G network.
T-Mobile earlier this month said it has signed five year contracts with Ericsson and Nokia worth billions of dollars. Samsung Electronics last year announced that it has signed a 7.9 trillion won deal with US carrier Verizon to supply 4G and 5G equipment.