China’s 4G penetration reached nearly 45 per cent at the end of May, with its LTE subscriber base passing 580 million, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).

The country reached that number in just two and a half years, after the first 4G licences were awarded in December 2014.

Mobile operators have deployed 2.1 million 4G base stations.

The country has 820 million mobile broadband (3G/4G) subscribers, giving it a penetration rate of 62.6 per cent, reported. Its total mobile subscriber base was nearly 1.3 billion in May.

At the end of May China had 274 million fixed broadband subscribers, 66 per cent or 180 million of which were fibre connections, MIIT said.

According to GSMA Intelligence, China Mobile had 428.5 million 4G users at the end of June, while China Telecom had 90 million and China Unicom had 72 million.