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China accelerated the launch of 5G in 2019, and Ovum expects that 2020 will be a challenging year for the incumbent operators because of the need for ongoing 5G investments, residual financial pressures, and the emergence of a new competitor, CBN.


  • China sees initial 5G commercialization in 2019, but two challenges for the three big operators follow this accelerated launch. Despite revenue shrinkage, large 5G investments are expected from the operators in the coming years. CBN, a new entrant, plans to offer 5G commercial service in 2020 to both consumer and enterprise segments.
  • Ecosystem integration is growing stronger in the consumer segment. Telcos have introduced a wide variety of customer benefits for their 5G commercial plans and are building smart home ecosystems to add value in the fixed broadband segment. They are also striving to develop "killer" applications of 5G through collaborations with industry partners.
  • China telcos are equipping themselves to target the enterprise services market. They are strengthening their capabilities by forming specialized enterprise service organizations. They are also accelerating the development of 5G vertical industry solutions through expansion of collaborations, 5G standalone network deployments, and equity M&A.

Features and Benefits

  • Learn about the latest 5G developments in China including network deployment and commercial pricing plans.
  • Analyze the differentiations of 5G commercial pricing plans of the China operators.
  • Summarize the dynamics and analyze the strategies in fixed broadband and smart home segment.
  • Analyze the development strategy in the enterprise segment.

Key questions answered

  • What are the main challenges for China telcos in 2020?
  • What strategies have China operators adopted to add value for their fixed broadband segment?
  • What specific measure have operators implemented to develop their enterprise services, and what will probably happen in 2020 and going forward?

Table of contents


  • Catalyst
  • Ovum view
  • Key messages


  • Recommendations for service providers

Initial 5G commercialization in 2019, but 2020 will be a challenging year

  • Continuous 5G investments are expected despite the revenue slips
  • CBN is joining 5G competition

Ecosystem integration trend is growing stronger

  • Comprehensive benefits to win 5G consumers
  • Building smart home ecosystem in fixed broadband segment
  • Strive to develop killer applications with partners

Operators build capability in enterprise services

  • Strengthen specialized organizations with ambitions
  • Accelerating 5G to develop vertical solutions


  • Methodology
  • Further reading
  • Author