Launch of 5G Services in China Dominates Mobile World Congress Asia

The big theme at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) Asia, held in Shanghai this month is the launch of 5G services by China Mobile. The company “switched on” its 5G network a day before the opening of MWC Asia. With the launch of 5G services, China joins the league of early 5G adopters, which includes South Korea, the US, Australia, Switzerland, and others. Meanwhile, China Mobile joined 11 other telecom operators to have launched 5G services. We estimate that China will become the largest 5G smartphone market by the end of 2019.

China is an important market for telecom infrastructure companies providing 5G equipment as the scale of deployment will be massive due to the market size, both in terms of users and coverage. Smartphone OEMs are also looking to benefit from the newly launched 5G services in China. The Chinese smartphone market has so far shown signs of recovery. However, with the early launch of 5G, OEMs will try to sell more of their flagship 5G devices to boost their revenues slightly.

China Mobile, like other Chinese telecom companies that are launching 5G services, wants to capitalize on the early adopters. By the end of this year, 5G services will launch in 50 key cities followed by expansion to 300 cities in the coming years.

Challenges Ahead

As of now, there are no signs of subsidy provided by operators in China to fuel adoption, as we have seen in some other countries. Although the subsidy model does not seem to be sustainable in the longer term.

To make 5G services acceptable among the masses, it needs to be affordable, and 5G devices must be available in the US$150-US$250 price range. China Mobile estimates that by H2 2020, the cost of 5G smartphones will come down to anywhere between RMB 1,000 to RMB 2,000 (roughly US$150 to US$300). However, we estimate that achieving US$150 retail price for devices will be challenging as the 5G experience these devices provide must also be considered.

While 5G will lead the smartphone market to grow in 2020, we estimate the total smartphone market in 2019 to decline. China will dominate the 5G smartphone market with 5G shipment share going above 30% in 2020, from an estimated 25% in 2019.

Counterpoint research is a young and fast growing research firm covering analysis of the tech industry. Coverage areas are connected devices, digital consumer goods, software & applications and other adjacent topics. We provide syndicated research reports as well as tailored. Our seminars and workshops for companies and institutions are popular and available on demand. Consulting and customized work on the above topics is provided for high precision projects.

Apple Snack Pack


Understanding iPhone

Term of Use and Privacy Policy

Counterpoint Technology Market Research Limited


In order to access Counterpoint Technology Market Research Limited (Company or We hereafter) Web sites, you may be asked to complete a registration form. You are required to provide contact information which is used to enhance the user experience and determine whether you are a paid subscriber or not.
Personal Information When you register on we ask you for personal information. We use this information to provide you with the best advice and highest-quality service as well as with offers that we think are relevant to you. We may also contact you regarding a Web site problem or other customer service-related issues. We do not sell, share or rent personal information about you collected on Company Web sites.

How to unsubscribe and Termination

You may request to terminate your account or unsubscribe to any email subscriptions or mailing lists at any time. In accessing and using this Website, User agrees to comply with all applicable laws and agrees not to take any action that would compromise the security or viability of this Website. The Company may terminate User’s access to this Website at any time for any reason. The terms hereunder regarding Accuracy of Information and Third Party Rights shall survive termination.

Website Content and Copyright

This Website is the property of Counterpoint and is protected by international copyright law and conventions. We grant users the right to access and use the Website, so long as such use is for internal information purposes, and User does not alter, copy, disseminate, redistribute or republish any content or feature of this Website. User acknowledges that access to and use of this Website is subject to these TERMS OF USE and any expanded access or use must be approved in writing by the Company.
– Passwords are for user’s individual use
– Passwords may not be shared with others
– Users may not store documents in shared folders.
– Users may not redistribute documents to non-users unless otherwise stated in their contract terms.

Changes or Updates to the Website

The Company reserves the right to change, update or discontinue any aspect of this Website at any time without notice. Your continued use of the Website after any such change constitutes your agreement to these TERMS OF USE, as modified.
Accuracy of Information: While the information contained on this Website has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, We disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of such information. User assumes sole responsibility for the use it makes of this Website to achieve his/her intended results.

Third Party Links: This Website may contain links to other third party websites, which are provided as additional resources for the convenience of Users. We do not endorse, sponsor or accept any responsibility for these third party websites, User agrees to direct any concerns relating to these third party websites to the relevant website administrator.

Cookies and Tracking

We may monitor how you use our Web sites. It is used solely for purposes of enabling us to provide you with a personalized Web site experience.
This data may also be used in the aggregate, to identify appropriate product offerings and subscription plans.
Cookies may be set in order to identify you and determine your access privileges. Cookies are simply identifiers. You have the ability to delete cookie files from your hard disk drive.