China’s three major state-owned operators have been apportioned 5G spectrum in the mid-band range of frequencies.
Second and third placed China Unicom and China Telecom were each granted 100MHz of 3.5MHz (or C-Band) spectrum, while China Mobile was allocated 260MHz across the 2.6GHz and 4.8GHz bands.
The allocation by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology indicates that wide-scale network testing will commence in early 2019, ahead of commercial 5G services launching in 2020.
China’s IMT-2020 (5G) Promotion Group completed three phases of non-standalone (NSA) trials in October; it is currently halfway through standalone (SA) trials. China is also conducting three phases of 5G R&D testing, which began in 2016 and are planned for completion by the end of this year.
Speaking to China Daily, the Telecommunication Development Industry Alliance’s secretary-general Yang Hua noted that setting 5G frequencies would facilitate 5G development for operators and vendors. He explained that changing the assigned frequencies often forces solutions and products to spend as much as ten additional months being redeveloped.