Recently, Beijing white-collar Linyuan (pseudonym) received a text message from an operator calling herself “respected 5g user”. She was shocked and rushed to contact the customer service of the phone operator to ask if she had been secretly changed into a 5g package. Customer service told her that she was called a 5g user because she was using a 5g mobile phone and could enjoy 5g basic services. However, she still used the original 4G package and would not be counted as a 5g package user. Lin Yuan has many people like her who have bought 5g mobile phones but still use 4G packages. At the same time, some friends who don’t have 5g mobile phones upgrade to 5g packages because 5g packages are more affordable than their original packages. These phenomena seem to be common in 2020, the first year of 5g popularization. According to the data released by the China Academy of communications and communications, from January to July this year, the total number of 5g mobile phones shipped in the domestic market reached 77.508 million units, accounting for 44.2%. And the sum of 5g package users announced by the three operators has been stable over 100 million. < / P > < p > as of August 18, the three major operators have disclosed their interim performance reports for 2020. A noteworthy phenomenon is that with the promotion of co construction and sharing, the number of available 5g base stations of China Telecom and China Unicom has reached 210000, exceeding 188000 of China Mobile. The process of 5g popularization has been more than half of the year. The penetration of packages and the competitive situation are changing quietly. Qi Ming (pseudonym) is an engineer of a communication equipment company in China. In February this year, at the time of the most serious domestic epidemic, he and his team took off to Guangzhou to participate in the 5g centralized procurement bidding jointly conducted by China Telecom and China Unicom. This project, named “joint centralized procurement of wireless main equipment for 5g SA new construction project in 2020”, has a centralized procurement scale of 250000 5g base stations, mainly purchasing BBU (baseband processing unit) and AAU (active antenna unit) of 5g SA network. < / P > < p > “this year’s construction progress is faster than expected, and the operators are pushing hard.” Qi Ming told shell financial reporter. His company eventually won shares in the bidding for 5g network of China Mobile and China Unicom Telecom. In the subsequent delivery process, in order to speed up the construction progress and reduce the construction operation and maintenance cost, the baseband processing unit BBU purchased by the operator was changed from 3 units to 2 units, and the RF unit in AAU was also reduced from 64 channels to 32 channels. < / P > < p > “to a large extent, this is for energy conservation and can also speed up construction.” Qi Ming said that at present, as 5g users are not enough, and the base station hardware performance is excessive, such “shrinkage” will not affect the user experience. At the end of the last month, more than 70000 base stations have been opened and more than 70000 base stations have been put into operation by the end of each month. < p > < p > in the first half of the year, China Mobile spent 55.2 billion yuan on 5g, 12.6 billion yuan on China Unicom and 20.2 billion yuan on China Telecom. It costs less, but more base stations are available. The power of “co construction and sharing” can be seen. However, it does not mean that China Mobile is lagging behind. After all, in terms of the number of public 5g package users, China Mobile still leads with more than 70 million, far higher than the nearly 38 million of Telecom. According to Fu Liang, an independent Telecom analyst, although China Mobile is temporarily behind in the number of base stations opened, considering that the 5g frequency of China Unicom is 2.6 The frequency of China Unicom Telecom is 3.5GHz. The lower the frequency, the larger the coverage area of single station. Therefore, China Mobile still has to surpass Unicom in 5g signal coverage area. In terms of construction speed, China Mobile has revised its construction target from “reaching 300000 stations” to “building 300000 stations” in its financial report. With the base stations opened last year, China Mobile will have more than 350000 5g base stations this year. Ma Jihua, also a senior Telecom analyst, also told shell financial reporters that the base station construction of operators exceeded the plan. Because of the co construction and sharing between China Telecom and China Unicom, it will be relatively fast in the initial stage. However, at present, users are mainly using 4G network, “which can not be regarded as backward mobile”. He said that as time goes on, mobile’s base station investment will exceed the sum of China Telecom and China Unicom, and will eventually maintain the proportion of 4G base stations before. By the end of 2019, the number of 4G base stations of China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom were 3.09 million, 1.41 million and 1.59 million respectively. < / P > < p > as a 5g industry insider, Qiming has a mobile phone number that is currently using 5g experience services provided by operators. However, he didn’t have the idea of buying 5g packages himself after the end of the experience period. “The main reason is that 4G can basically meet all the needs in daily life, and 5g applications are rarely applied, and the perception is not strong.” Qi Ming told shell financial reporter. < / P > < p > in a new first tier city, Jinli (pseudonym), who is engaged in mobile phone industry, has many people using 5g. He has also changed 5g mobile phone himself, but he has no idea of purchasing 5g package. The lack of 5g perception is also the reason why he continues to use 4G package. In the process of 5g mobile phone marketing, he also found that consumers’ cognition of 5g is not clear, and they don’t know what they can do after changing 5g. < / P > < p > “the so-called speed is fast, the movie is on in seconds, and the game delay is low. These are not of great significance.” Jin Li told shell financial reporters, “unlike from 3G to 4G, from only viewing pictures to loading videos smoothly, this perception is very strong.” < p > < p > Jin Li pointed out that the 5g construction in the sinking market is far from in place. With the gradual improvement of network coverage, 4G mobile phone inventory is gradually cleared, and the package cost will be reduced once again, which should be popularized soon. “The market still needs an educational process.” Mr Jin said. < / P > < p > and in the process of this education market, the three operators inevitably have to bear a lot of costs of network operation and maintenance. China Mobile’s interim report shows that the company’s network operation and maintenance and support costs increased by 10.7 billion yuan in the first half of the year compared with the same period last year. It is generally believed that this is due to the rapid increase of 5g operation and maintenance costs. < / P > < p > “electricity is almost the biggest cost of base station operation.” Qi Ming told shell finance and economics reporter that for 5g base station with its own equipment, a single station costs more than 2000 yuan per month. Huawei’s energy consumption is relatively low, but there is no big difference in the standard of mainstream manufacturers in the industry. According to this figure, the electricity cost of nearly 400000 stations opened by the three operators is as high as 800 million yuan in one month alone. Assuming that 5.44 million 4G base stations in China will be upgraded to 5g base stations in 2019, the electricity charges generated by G base station operation will reach 130.56 billion yuan. This is an astronomical number, no wonder some netizens jokingly said, “the state grid may become the biggest winner of 5g.” < / P > < p > because of this, since last year, there have been calls from both inside and outside the industry to reduce the operating burden of 5g base stations by changing the third-party power supply to direct power supply and providing electricity price subsidies for base stations. Operators and equipment suppliers are also exploring ways to reduce the power consumption of base stations. “To reduce the power consumption is to reduce the transmitting power of the base station and sleep when idle.” Qi Ming said. He also saw Luoyang Unicom recently revealed the practice of making base stations dormant at night. Behind this practice, operators are eager to reduce the operating costs of 5g base stations. < p > < p > at the beginning of the article, an operator insider who did not want to be named told shell financial reporter that in the statistics of 5g package users, as long as they have opened 5g package, whether they have mobile phones or not, they are counted as 5g users. And this part of users can really improve their ARPU (average revenue per user). “For example, a 4G user can run an 18 yuan package, but the threshold of 5g package is still much higher.” “We have also been cultivating users’ habits by sending traffic and other means. Although the unit price of traffic is low, as long as users use more, the overall income can also come up,” he said < / P > < p > Ge Qi, a veteran of communication industry, a former “old mobile man” and CMO of Da Kai technology, has been paying close attention to the competitive situation of the three operators. He told shell financial reporters that the overall number of 5g base stations is still very small compared with 4G, and the current competition is mainly on 4G. In the future competition, the “2 + 2” pattern of China Unicom holding hands with China Telecom and China mobile joint radio and television will become more and more obvious. < / P > < p > it is not difficult to see from the reports of the three major operators that 5g, which is still in the early stage of popularization, has not brought much improvement to its operation. On the contrary, due to the huge construction and operation cost, operators’ performance has been under great pressure. During the period, China Mobile’s operating revenue was 389.9 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 0.1%, and a net profit of 55.8 billion yuan, a year-on-year decrease of 0.5%. China Telecom’s half year operating revenue was 193.803 billion yuan, up 1.7% year-on-year, and its net profit was 13.949 billion yuan, a slight increase of 0.3% year-on-year. The most eye-catching financial report was China Unicom, with an operating revenue of 150.397 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 3.8%, and a net profit of 7.6 billion yuan, up 10.1% year-on-year. However, behind this brilliant financial data is China Unicom’s policy of strictly controlling user development costs since the end of last year. Under this policy, China Unicom lost nearly 9 million users in the first half of 2020, and has not released the number of 5g package users so far. In terms of revenue, number of users and other key indicators, China Unicom has been completely defeated by China Telecom, ranking third in the industry. Ge Qi said that the massive loss of users will undoubtedly make China Unicom “under great pressure”. According to his estimation, excluding the statistical caliber, there are about 10000 Chinese lines, of which China Mobile accounts for about 40 million, while China Unicom Telecom accounts for more than 20 million each. Some voices also pointed out that China Unicom’s 5g package users may be tens of millions, but there should be a certain gap between China Unicom and the other two, which has not been announced. < p > < p > on the afternoon of August 18, shell financial reporters respectively called the customer service of the three major operators to learn about the latest package discounts. Beijing mobile customer service said that if a one-year contract is signed for the 128 yuan 5g package with the lowest gear, the discounted package price is 90 yuan per month, including 20GB of traffic and 30GB of calls. Beijing Telecom Customer Service said, pre deposit 100 Yuan line minutes. Beijing Unicom customer service said that currently there is no discount activities, the price of the lowest gear 5g package is still 129 yuan per month. < / P > < p > “at present, the industry still can’t see where the profit point of 5g is, including our internal meetings have been discussing.” “If you can’t get 5g killer applications, I’m afraid it’s hard to get back to the cost. Now everyone is aiming at the market of government and enterprise.” < / P > < p > “operators are now trying to speed up the process of users using 5g packages to replace 5g mobile phones, and at the same time enhance their influence in terms of brand. In addition, they are also in the differentiation of content and application, trying to improve the attractiveness of users. ” Ma Jihua said when talking about the competitive strategy of operators. He also said that the key to 5g competition among the three operators is still in government and enterprise business.