Developers of mobile platforms are actively switching to 5G solutions, and shipments of platforms with only 4G support have begun to decline. In this regard, in the second half of 2021, prices for 4G solutions will begin to grow; and chips with 5G support will become cheaper.
Mobile chip makers MediaTek, Qualcomm, Unisoc are now actively promoting their latest 5G products. Moreover, MediaTek and Qualcomm have already completely renewed their range, covering all price segments with support for fifth-generation networks.
Given the global shortage of semiconductor components, 4G solutions are now receiving less attention from manufacturers, suppliers and contractors, which predictably drives up the price of such products. Sources of DigiTimes, associated with Chinese mobile phone manufacturers, said that the demand for devices with support for fifth-generation networks remains high, and in the next 2 to 3 years, the volume of 5G-smartphone shipments will double annually.
At the same time, 4G networks remain a priority in many emerging markets. In this regard, 4G smartphones and related solutions are proving to be more profitable than before. And by the end of 2021, the marginality of 4G chips may turn out to be higher than that of platforms with 5G support.
China’s 5G subscribers reach almost 500 million
Chinese mobile operators China Telecom, China Unicom and China Mobile reported their results for the first half of 2021. According to the results of the reporting period; it was possible to connect more than 500 million subscribers to the fifth-generation networks.
The British news website The Register clarified that at the end of March 2021, three mobile operators in China had 322 million subscribers in 5G networks and 1.12 million base stations of this standard. For three months, the subscriber base has grown significantly, as of June 30, it amounted to 495 million users, the number of base stations declared by operators reached 1.421 million.
However, the impressive number of 5G base stations should be taken critically, in reality, this number may be less. Operators China Telecom and China Unicom have accelerated infrastructure sharing over the past six months in line with earlier agreements. Moreover, such agreements concern the infrastructure of both the fourth and fifth generations. This means that in the reports on the installation of new 5G base stations, the total figures are somewhat overestimated. Similarly, China Mobile and China Broadcasting Network Corporation operate in the 700 MHz band on shared network equipment.
As a result, China Unicom and China Telecom reported declines in capital expenditures while clearly expanding infrastructure elements. But even taking into account the sharing of networks in the first half of the year; three operators installed at least 190 thousand 5G base stations. Finally, all three operators are very optimistic about the growth in the number of 5G subscribers, especially corporate users.