Chinese mobile operator China
Unicom announced plans to launch a 5G trial network in seven major cities
across the country, local press reported.
The carrier said that the trials
will be carried in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Nanjing, Hangzhou
and urban Xiong’an New Area.
chairman, Wang Xiaochu, confirmed at a company event that 5G coverage will be
made available in 33 cities across China and the company will also deploy a 5G
private network and create 5G application scenarios in several cities.
China Unicom has formed a 5G application alliance bringing together 32
industrial players including automaker Dongfeng Motor, heavy industry
manufacturer ZPMC, equipment maker Huawei and internet company Alibaba,
according to local press reports.
China Unicom has also signed an
agreement with the Shanghai government aimed at improving the city’s fiber optic
broadband networks and high-speed mobile communication networks.
terms of the agreement, China Unicom will invest CNY 15 billion ($2.24 billion)
in Shanghai by 2021.
The city, which
already hosts 500 5G stations, is looking to build itself into a 5G pioneering
venue. It aims to construct 10,000 5G base stations by the end of this year and
30,000 by 2021.
Rival operator China Mobile, the
largest telecom operator in China, said in December that it plans to start 5G
trials in 17 cities in 2019.
Meanwhile, China Telecom had
previously announced that it will start trials of 5G applications in 17 cities
with the aim of launching commercial 5G
services in 2020.
In December, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) had issued nationwide 5G trial licenses to the country’s three mobile operators.
China Unicom said it has been approved to use the 3.5 GHz to 3.6 GHz
frequency band for a nationwide 5G trial rollout until June 2020. The telco
said that it will gradually cease to use the frequency in the 2.555 GHz to
2.575 GHz range that it had been using for 5G trials and progressively return
it to the MIIT.
China Telecom was allowed to use the 3.4 GHz to 3.5 GHz frequency range
to carry out 5G trials in mainland China. Under the agreement with the Chinese
government, China Telecom will return its 2.635 GHz to 2.655 GHz spectrum over
the same timeframe.
Meanwhile, China Mobile, has been approved to use spectrum in the 2.515
GHz to 2.675 GHz and the 4.8 GHz to 4.9 GHz ranges for its nationwide 5G
trials. The 2.5-GHz spectrum will include frequencies to be re-farmed from China
Mobile’s existing TD-LTE spectrum.
China expects to have pre-commercialized 5G networks within 2019 and large-scale 5G coverage by 2020.
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