CBN, China Telecom and China Unicom to share spectrum for indoor 5G
Three Chinese telecoms operators are to share spectrum for indoor 5G coverage.
Two of them are existing mobile operators, China Telecom and China Unicom, but the third is not China Mobile – the biggest operator in the country and probably the biggest in the world – but a newcomer to the industry, China Broadcasting Network (CBN).
This last is a company set up in 2014 to manage national TV and radio networks but given a licence in 2016 to operate internet and telecoms services.
CBN received a 5G licence in June 2019, along with China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom, and started trying out outdoor 5G technology on the 700MHz band in Shanghai.
But now the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has issued licences to CBN as well as China Unicom and China to share a spectrum in the 3,300-3,400MHz band for 5G indoor coverage, in a move said to be to push commercialisation of the new mobile technology.
This is the first time for China to license public mobile communication frequency resources to multiple firms for shared use, according to the state-owned Xinhua news agency.
The three companies will leverage the co-development and sharing of 5G indoor access networks to cut costs and boost efficiency, the ministry said.
Last month MIIT also granted CBN a trial licence permitting outdoor 5G services on the 4,900MHz spectrum.
Reports last year, also quoting Xinhua, said CBN, founded by the National Radio and Television Administration (NRTA), would receive assistance from telecoms provider CITIC and internet company Alibaba.