back to article China passes half a billion 5G subscriptions and adds at least 190k new 5G base stations in six months

China had over half a billion 5G subscribers and over a million 5G base stations as of June 30, but the nation's big three mobile carriers have warned of a slowdown. The Register's numbers come from repeating our exercise from March 2021, when we pored over annual reports from China Telecom, China Unicom, and China Mobile, to …

  1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  2. Richard Jones 1
    FAIL

    5G?, Decent 4G and Voice Would be nice In Hertfordshire

    If EE are reading/watching or listening, having some decent 4g would be nice, not to mention decent Broadband speeds, having 16Mbps in Hertfordshire is so 1990s.

    1. _LC_ Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: 5G?, Decent 4G and Voice Would be nice In Hertfordshire

      If it wasn't for marketing, 5G would've been called 4G+ or 4G-edge. It's only a minor iteration. Not few base stations only needed a software update. ;-)

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. low_resolution_foxxes Silver badge

      Re: 5G?, Decent 4G and Voice Would be nice In Hertfordshire

      what type of 4G do you have? (phone, 4G wifi, external antenna etc.).

      My parents get 30-50meg reliably from an EE 4G+ external antenna. They are 8 miles from the mast, but there is 'line-of-sight' that helps massively.

      Curious to see what the new 700Mhz 5G spectrum provides, as on paper it should deliver 100-150meg speeds. Who knows

      1. _LC_ Silver badge
        Alert

        Re: 5G?, Decent 4G and Voice Would be nice In Hertfordshire

        Just pointing out here that marketing also invented the megabit per second (Mbps, Mb/s) labeling. This is eight times less than the typical megabyte (MB) or megabyte per second (MBps, MB/s) from you computer.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 5G?, Decent 4G and Voice Would be nice In Hertfordshire

          For a serial link, at its most simple description for the original comms, bits are what are travelling over the connection. The early naming, I recall, was baud, for binary state serial transmission was equivalent to bits per second. Ignoring all error checking or packet overhead etc.

          Bytes appeared in popular terminology because this was the size of a register in CPUs in early popular computing architectures, with an eight bit bus so data could be shifted around in parallel to 8 bit memory locations within the actual computer or over a parallel interface.

          1. _LC_ Silver badge

            Re: 5G?, Decent 4G and Voice Would be nice In Hertfordshire

            This was always driven by marketing, as it is deceptive to the user. Ask them how long downloading of a 100 megabyte video will take on a 100 Mb/s link. 99% will give you the false answer and are befuddled once you explain to them.

            “Baud” was an explicit term. They could have moved on from there (although senseless) and called things kilo-baud and mega-baud, etc. They didn't. Fooling the buyer was always the intention. ;-|

            1. werdsmith Silver badge

              Re: 5G?, Decent 4G and Voice Would be nice In Hertfordshire

              I don't understand how anyone can be fooled when the only real use the average subscriber has for these numbers is to compare one service relative to another.

            2. Boothy Silver badge

              Re: 5G?, Decent 4G and Voice Would be nice In Hertfordshire

              Quote: "Ask them how long downloading of a 100 megabyte video will take on a 100 Mb/s link."

              Wrong question really, not surprised people can't answer it. i.e. How relevant is that question to most users? I can't imagine many people download video files these days (except perhaps pirates etc).

              The vast majority of people stream video these days, and if you go check FAQs for places like Netflix, Prime, YouTube, iPlayer etc, to find out if your broadband or mobile speed is fast enough, all of them will quote the required speed in mega bits not bytes.

              Providing internet speeds in mega bytes would be fairly useless for I'd say the vast majority of users. as no one really uses mega bytes as a measure of speed.

              Do you also suggest Ethernet and other network technologies also change from bits to bytes? As they all really need to use a single consistent measuring system for speed, otherwise you're going to have to start converting between one and the other when you purchase things like a new hub, router etc.

              1. _LC_ Silver badge

                Re: 5G?, Decent 4G and Voice Would be nice In Hertfordshire

                "Do you also suggest Ethernet and other network technologies also change from bits to bytes?"

                Same manufacturers, same marketing.

                Companies tried to give the right information and then got duped by their competitors and setback "straight" by their marketing department.

                What use has a number that has to be divided by eight all the time?

                This started with the bloody modems, when every bit did count. They dragged this on to this very day. Just ask normal people. The vast majority of them is being mislead. It's not that this happens by accident. There have been studies. This is know. This is deliberate.

                1. Boothy Silver badge

                  Re: 5G?, Decent 4G and Voice Would be nice In Hertfordshire

                  Quote "What use has a number that has to be divided by eight all the time?"

                  How often does anyone ever actually do that?

                  I've been using modems in one form or another since the early 90s, and I can honestly say the number of times I've done a conversion between bits and bytes, for a connection speed to an approx transfer speed, have been perhaps half a dozen times over those 25+ years.

                  Dividing by 8 is also only an approximation, as it's not measuring the same thing. The Mbps is the connection speed, whereas MB/s is a transfer speed. The former does not take into account protocol overheads, or things like compression, whereas the later does. So bit speed / 8 will only ever give an approximate answer to the actual MB/s.

                  Quote "The vast majority of them is being mislead"

                  How is anyone being mislead?

                  Broadband speeds have always been defined as bits per second. So are directly comparable for end users (exaggerated speed claims not withstanding of course).

                  All services that are speed dependent, such as streaming services, also always use bits/sec so are again directly comparable.

                  As long as everyone uses the same system to measure speed, irrespective of the specific measuring system being used, then it's not misleading.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            A pedant writes...

            The correct name for an 8-bit byte is "octet" - it gets its own name as it is much more common than other sized bytes ( I remember encountering 6-bit & 9-bit bytes, but I'm sure there were other sizes ).

            IIRC half a byte is referred to as a "nibble".

      2. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: 5G?, Decent 4G and Voice Would be nice In Hertfordshire

        >but there is 'line-of-sight' that helps massively.

        Massively...

        Recently I was staying in a poor reception area circa -130 dBm outdoors, after looking at the OS maps and the different operator coverage maps (from a bench on a cliff top with good signal), I put the EE 4G dongle on the end of a long pole and raised it 2 metres above the roof, it now got circa -100 dBm good enough for a single HD YouTube stream (so we could watch the Tour de France live - no TV signal so no ITV4)... Basically, the house was in a dip and so there was no direct transmission line for the signal.

        1. ARGO

          Re: 5G?, Decent 4G and Voice Would be nice In Hertfordshire

          But perversely, non line-of-sight can be faster if you have a decent signal strength to start with - MIMO needs multiple reflective paths to work. (Clearly this means MIMO transmission is witchcraft.)

  3. werdsmith Silver badge

    With my phone provider there are no 5G subscriptions as distinct from any other subscription. You need an updated SIM if yours is old, but these are just the standard SIM now. If your phone is 5G capable and 5G is available then you get a 5G service.

    1. tip pc Silver badge

      if you are on sky mobile there is a link on your account you need to click to enable 5G. It prompts a warning that if you don't have a 5G capable device the service could be slower.

      i had assumed it was auto enrolment but certainly not the case for sky.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My bad

    I thought this was going to be an article about people getting Covid jabs.

    1. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: My bad

      5G is needed for all the tracking devices in the vaccine. Also, Bill Gates is watching all of us and notes that this undertaking is several orders of magnitude more boring than expected.

      1. low_resolution_foxxes Silver badge

        Re: My bad

        It turns out Bill Gates has a charity that spends tens of millions of dollars on PR with media companies.so if you ever wonder why Gates appeared in the news with glowing coverage of his fight to save the world (despite any medical qualifications whatsoever), he literally pays the TV companies for good PR.

        BBC were the only ones who didn't cup his balls recently, as they don't operate on a PR model.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: My bad

        Y'all are so negative.

        I for one, am delighted with the new Bum Temperature settings in my wife's control panel since she was vaxxed. She was a bit sluggish while she got the 6 week firmware update, but all tickety-boo now.

        Unfortunately, even with the built-in 5G, she still doesn't answer the damn phone.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Orwell....

    "Films, football, gambling, and above all, high speed data filled up the horizon of their minds. To keep them in control was not difficult…."

  6. maddoxx

    Faster streaming

    I believe people think they can watch faster, stream fasteer - forgetting the bandwidth limit is this cranium thingie

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