China Mobile has split contracts for two 5G networks worth a combined CNY7.8 billion ($1.1 billion) between five vendors, with Huawei taking the lion’s share.
The first network will comprise around 63,800 base stations operating within the 2.6GHz to 4.9GHz bands, while the second will see 23,141 sites deployed using the 700MHz band as part of a joint deployment with China Broadnet. In March 2023, China Mobile confirmed plans to launch 260,000 5G base stations this year, taking its total to 1.6 million.
C114.net reported that Huawei won contracts worth around CNY4.1 billion to deploy more than half of the total base stations – around 45,000, or 52% of the total - between 2023 and 2024. The remainder will be split between ZTE, Ericsson, Datang Mobile and Nokia; the news outlet estimated the respective values (and proportions) of these vendors’ contracts as being CNY2.1 billion (27%), CNY630 million (8.2%), CNY550 million (7.1%) and CNY400 million (5.2%).
Huawei will be relieved to take such a large share of this new contract given its renewed focus on its home market. The US has placed sanctions on many Chinese firms, but Huawei in particular has been targeted by a sustained campaign that has seen numerous developed markets shun the vendor to the extent of ripping previously installed Huawei equipment out of their 5G networks.