Right on the heels of receiving official licenses to launch commercial 5G networks in June, China Telecom and China Unicom have struck an agreement to build and share network infrastructure to execute this vision. A shared network infrastructure would help circumvent the obstacles of 5G deployment by leveraging the synergies of their combined resources:
The two companies would be sharing 5G frequency bands to ensure their users’ accessibility to either of their 5G networks.
Despite having complementary bands—200 MHz of contiguous spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band—their brands and businesses will remain independent.
China Unicom will build 5G infrastructure in 8 provinces in northern China while China Telecom will oversee 17 provinces in the south.
China Unicom and China Telecom will also share the responsibilities in building 5G networks in 15 major cities (Beijing, Shanghai, etc.). The construction responsibilities of 5G base stations will be based on the current number of 4G base stations the companies control in each city.
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