In its annual Mobile Economy China report, presented at an event in Beijing on Sunday, March 26, the Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA) projected that there will be 1.6 billion 5G connections by 2030, when adoption will hit 88 percent.
By the end of 2022, mainland China accounted for more than 60% of all 5G connections worldwide, with the number of compatible base stations growing by nearly 900,000 to more than 2.3 million.
LTE adoption is expected to decline from 64 percent at the end of 2022 to less than 50% this year.
In his keynote address, GSMA director general Mats Granryd called on the industry “to work together as we enter a new era of exploration where networks meet cloud, digitalization transforms industries and the metaverse creates new possibilities”.
Considering 5G’s wider impact, the GSMA predicts the technology will boost China’s GDP by $290 billion in 2030, with benefits spreading across a range of sectors.
According to the forecast, licensed cellular will grow from 1.8 billion in 2022 to 3.6 billion in 2030.
Between 2023 and 2030, China’s major mobile operators are expected to spend an astounding $291 billion in capital expenditures, the vast majority of which will go toward 5G projects.