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China grants bandwidth to fourth 5G operator

January 05, 2020 / WEI SHENG
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China’s top telecommunications regulator has given the green light to another state-owned enterprise to operate 5G networks, making it the country’s fourth provider of next-generation wireless services. While the entrance of China Broadcasting Network breaks a monopoly held by the country’s three major carriers—China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom—it lacks infrastructure and experience, and is seen as unlikely to provide reliable 5G services. The company, which is fully owned by the Chinese government’s State Council, said its hurdles include “no talent, no funds, and no network” (our translation) as it prepares to build up its own 5G network, according to Guangzhou Daily (in Chinese), citing company documents. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said it had assigned a 5G bandwidth in the 4.9 GHz frequency band to China Broadcasting Network and allowed it to deploy the service in 16 cities, according to a statement (in Chinese) published on the ministry’s website on Jan. 3. The national cable television behemoth said in the initial phase of development, it plans to invest RMB 250 million (around $35.9 million) to provide 5G services in 16 cities across China, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen, according to the documents.