The Chinese government has issued spectrum in the 2.6GHz, 3.5GHz and 4.8GHz band, so that telcos can begin fine tuning their 5G rollout plans
China has issued the first mid-band 5G spectrum to each of its three-major state-owned operators. The country’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said that it expected network testing to begin in Q1 2019, with all three operators looking to rollout their 5G offering as soon as possible.
The country’s largest operator, China Mobile, was allocated 260MHz of spectrum across the 2.6GHz and 4.8GHz bands.
China Telecom and China Unicom were each allocated 100MHz of C-band spectrum (3.5GHz).
By allocating spectrum as early as possible, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said that it hoped operators would be able to start their 5G rollout preparations in finer detail.
The Chinese regulator has yet to confirm a date for the auction of spectrum in the 700MHz band, which will also be crucial for the launch of commercial 5G services on the Chinese mainland.
Meanwhile, rumours persist that China could be poised to merge two of its three biggest telcos, in an attempt to help it regain the initiative in its 5G arms race with the US.
A report by Bloomberg suggested that the government was considering merging China Telecom and China Unicom, in a move that would create the world’s second biggest telco. Such a move would undoubtedly provide huge economies of scale for the newly formed entity, allowing it to rollout 5G in a quicker and more efficient manner.
Neither China Telecom or China Unicom have commented on the proposed developments.
Also in the news: