China’s fourth operator gearing up for launch

China’s fourth operator gearing up for launch

China is set to receive its fourth mobile operator in the form of a joint venture between China Broadcasting Network (CBN) and China Mobile.

Founded on 12th October 2020, the new company is 51% owned by CBN and has a registered capital of CNY101.2 billion (US$15 billion). Alibaba Group, Beijing All Media Culture Group, Guangdong Radio Television Network and the State Grid Information and Telecommunication Group all hold shares in the firm.

As reported by China Daily, CBN was granted regulatory approval to become China’s fourth operator earlier this year and signed a network construction and sharing agreement in May with China Mobile. The deal will see each partner investing equally into a 5G network using the 700MHz band, for which they will share access rights and ownership.

China issued commercial 5G licences in June 2019, with operators launching their services around four months later. CommsUpdate reports that CBN received its licence during this allocation, and already held airwaves in the 700MHz and 4.9GHz bands. Despite the relatively recent issue of licences, China is forging ahead with 5G, with around 500,000 compatible base stations deployed as of September 2020.

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