China Mobile, China’s largest service provider, has announced that it, along with national cable TV operator China Broadcasting Network (CBN) will jointly build a national 5G network. The same will be done using CBN’s 700MHz spectrum.
According to several media reports, China Mobile and 31 provincial subsidiaries have signed a 5G network sharing supplemental agreement with CBN.
As details emerge, it has been brought to light that the operator will cover base station costs, and will own 100% of the shared network initially. The aim is to deploy 200,000 base stations in the 700MHz frequency band in 2021 and about 280,000 base stations in 2022. CBN will be responsible for building the core 5G and optical fibre networks, as well as the switching and control centres across China.
On the other hand, China Mobile will pay for all of the construction costs. It will initially own the network assets; however, both companies will have the joint right to use the network.
The newly signed agreement gives the national cable TV operator an option to buy back 50 percent of the wireless network assets. It will have to pay China Mobile a usage fee based on a negotiated rate. The contract also states that neither stakeholder can sell the ownership of any of the 700MHz network assets without each other’s consent.
Globally, China has been at the forefront at 5G deployment, and this partnership will further provide a fillip to the mobile network development in the country. This next-generation network is set to change the way people live, work and play. It will also have a profound effect on healthcare, inclusive banking, governance and entertainment. China Mobile already has more than 70 million 5G subscribers as of August 2021. This number is set to skyrocket post the deployment of the national 5G network.