The big three Chinese operators are jointly founding a towers firm to facilitate their 4G rollouts.
China Communications Facilities Services Corporation will build, maintain and operate the cellular infrastructure for all three operators, having received a share capital of CNY10 billion ($1.6 billion) from them.
Market lead China Mobile will hold the majority (40%) stake, while China Unicom and China Telecom will each hold 30% stakes. The three operators declared their interest in setting up an infrastructure venture in April.
China Mobile noted that the joint venture was aimed at improving the efficiency of network investment within China as it would avoid overlapping or unnecessary infrastructure build-outs. In addition, the firm will enable the operators to capitalise on existing assets.
The operators have not yet established exactly which assets will be covered by the joint venture, nor have they outright stated that the new firm is focused on 4G. However, rolling out LTE services will be a major undertaking for all three operators, so they will be keen to improve efficiency via the JV.