230,000 new every day: how they were ‘5G’

“Why don’t users change 5G phones and are asked to activate 5G cards and 5G packages?” Li Ming (pseudonym), a Beijing Unicom user, told reporters on June 10. In early February 2020, Li Ming for the “New Wisdom Wo family family photo 5G version” package on Beijing Unicom’s official website, which combines 500M of broadband services and 5G mobile services (a 5G SIM card).

According to Li Ming, he did not intend to buy a 5G phone, so he did not activate the 5G card in the package, and Beijing Unicom stopped his broadband service on June 4. After four consultations between him and Unicom customer service, the other side still insisted that only the user activated the 5G card to resume its broadband business.

The package’s broadband service and 5G mobile business are bundled, as Beijing Unicom has written on its official website. If Li Ming activates the 5G card in the package, he becomes a “5G” 4G user – not a 5G phone or a 5G network. At present, operators have not yet made a standard definition of 5G users, and real 5G users should meet the use of 5G mobile phones, 5G plan, 5G network three conditions.

Carriers are promoting 5G services to consumers, and the number of 5G subscribers in China is growing rapidly. According to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, China’s 5G users grew by more than 7 million in the month of April, adding an average of 230,000 5G users a day. An operator told reporters that in the current 5G network coverage to be improved, 5G mobile phones to be civilian izedated, 5G users to promote the speed of some quick. The reason for this promotion of 5G package, on the one hand, operators have relevant assessment requirements, on the other hand, the advance development of 5G package users, wait until the terminal and other conditions mature, it is more conducive to the user into a real 5G customer.

StrateGy Analytics research director Yang Guang told reporters that if the corresponding 5G package promotion can not be combined with the upgrade of terminals and business applications, it is not conducive to operators to improve the ARPU (average revenue per user) value, but also to the operator’s existing 4G network caused some pressure.

4G users “by 5G”

Li Ming (pseudonym) told reporters that in early February 2020 he handled Beijing Unicom’s “New Wisdom Wo family family photo 5G version” package, 166 yuan monthly fee, the service includes 500M broadband and a Beijing Unicom 5GSIM card. At present, Beijing Mobile, Beijing Telecom has also launched the relevant integration package.

According to Beijing Unicom’s official website, the card contains 40G traffic and 1500 minutes of voice base plan content. He said there were no plans to buy 5G handsets and already had 4G cards for telecommunications and mobile, so he was not prepared to use the 5G cards in the Unicom package. Li Ming told reporters, “originally wanted to handle a single broadband package, but at that time in the official website did not find, click on the broadband page only saw the integration package display.”

It was not until June 4 that Li Ming received a customer service call from Unicom asking him to activate the 5G card in the package, after which Li ming did not activate the card. On June 5, Li Ming found that the broadband business was stopped, recharged 200 yuan, found that still no resumption of business, customer service calls were told to use a 5G card to restore broadband services.

Beijing Unicom in the official website of the package effective rules have been explained: the package of the main 5G number 25 days not activated, fusion package must be lifted, the set of broadband tariff changes to the corresponding rate of the standard single broadband package monthly tariff, the package one-year contract is automatically lifted. Li Ming said, “In the communication with Unicom customer service, the other side has never asked me whether I want to change to a single broadband package, but to inform me that broadband and 5G card is a convergence package, to restore broadband use, only to activate the 5G mobile phone number, for the card only need to activate, do not have to use 5G mobile phone, also do not have to use 5G business.”

But Li Insisted not to activate the 5G card, until June 8, the two sides have been four times after communication, the final solution is still, only the user activates the 5G card to resume its broadband business, but agreed to the user suspended broadband business compensation, that is, a one-month package fee reduction.

Li Ming is not satisfied with the solution, he said, “I think the user has no intention of using 5G card, the other side should not force the use, at the same time, when i learned that I have not activated the 5G card, the other side did not give me a downgrade to a single broadband service, also did not send me a 5G card, but directly i have paid for the broadband service to stop,” Li said.

Three types of 5G packages

If Li Ming activates the 5G card in the package, he becomes a 5G user without a 5G phone and not connected to a 5G network. At present, there is a difference between the number of 5G plan users and the number of 5G terminal connections in the official data. According to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology data, by the end of March 2020, the domestic use of 5G package users reached more than 50 million, at the same time, a total of more than 20 million 5G terminals with related equipment access to 5G network. The huge difference between the two is illustrating a phenomenon: many users, who do not change their 5G phones, have become 5G users.

A Beijing Unicom mobile phone office person has told reporters that if a 4G mobile phone users, run a 5G package, then regardless of the use of 4G or 5G terminals, will be counted in the carrier system as 5G users. After combing reporters, the current carrier of 5G package promotion has about three forms, the common denominator is whether the user has 5G mobile phone can handle, but enjoy the speed is still matched with the original terminal.

230,000 new every day: how they were '5G'

First, the 5G package and broadband package bundled, at a lower price package to sell to consumers, in the above-mentioned consumer choice of 166 yuan of integration package content, if you buy the relevant 5G and broadband package, you need to spend 159 yuan and 148 yuan, respectively;

Second, on the basis of the 5G standard package additional purchase machine discount. The three carriers launched 5G standard packages in November 2019 at a higher price threshold than 4G packages. Since then, operators have attached purchase offers to the package. For example, Beijing Telecom, in the “129 yuan / month 30GB500 minutes” on the basis of the 5G package, attached 585 yuan terminal direct drop discount. A 4G user, as long as the contract for 2 years 5G package, and in the office to buy the corresponding mobile terminal, can get 585 yuan of purchase machine concessions, compared to, if the user buy 129 yuan / month (pay 99 yuan / month) 4G contract package, access to only 20G traffic and 500 minutes of voice.

Third, a 5G data plan can be superimposed on the 2G-5G user base plan. Essentially a low-cost traffic package, mainly for under-shaded users of the base plan.

Too fast 5G promotion

StrateGy Analytics research director Yang Guang told reporters that the above three tariff strategies from the 3G, 4G era, with the progress of mobile communications technology, operators of each generation of technology has lower unit costs than the previous generation, the current 5G package price although higher than 4G, but the unit price is cheaper than 4G. In the same price package, the 5G package usually contains far more data than the 4G package level. So operators are able to launch lower-priced 5G packages to attract users to the next generation of technology.

The above-mentioned operators told reporters that in the current 5G network coverage to be improved, 5G mobile phones to be civilian izedated, 5G users to promote the speed of some quick. In contrast, the transition period of 3G to 4G package is longer, and the network and terminals are relatively mature in the period when operators promote users. The reason for this promotion of 5G package, on the one hand, operators have relevant assessment requirements, on the other hand, the development of 5G package users, wait until the terminal and other conditions mature, it is more conducive to the user into a real 5G customer.

The number of 5G users is one of the important basic data to examine the development of 5G. In terms of user assessment, only China Mobile has announced a target of 70 million 5G users by 2020, including mobile and industry users. At the policy level, operators are also under pressure to reduce fees and carry the number to the network, to find a balance between quality assurance and attracting passenger traffic.

Yang Guang believes that if the corresponding 5G package promotion can not be combined with the upgrade of terminals and business applications, it is not conducive to operators to improve the ARPU (average revenue per user) value. And each generation of new communication technology promotion of the initial stage, this should be the operator to pull up the ARPU value of the opportunity period. According to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, in the first quarter, the three operators’ mobile communications revenue was 222.4 billion yuan, down 1.9% year-on-year, of which China Mobile’s ARPU was 46.9 yuan, down 6.7% year-on-year.

At the same time, this phenomenon will also put some pressure on the operator’s existing 4G network, operators need to be forced to maintain 4G investment, if the formation of 4G network experience deterioration may increase the user off-grid rate. The above-mentioned operators believe that the development of 5G package users on the 4G network pressure phenomenon does not exist for the time being, because operators in the introduction of the relevant package, usually according to the urban population, base station capacity to plan, will take into account the increase in the number of package users brought about by the capacity problems.