CBN becomes China’s fourth 5G player

CBN becomes China’s fourth 5G player

China Broadcasting Network (CBN) has been cleared by the country’s government to deploy a 5G network across 16 cities using spectrum in the 4.9GHz band.

The state-owned cable TV broadcaster received its commercial 5G licence at the same time as China’s Big Three operators in June last year, having been granted a telecoms licence in 2016 by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) as part of a push towards convergence across telecoms and broadcasting.

CNB began trialling standalone (SA) technology on the 700MHz band in Shanghai in October last year. It is lining up an investment of CNY250 million ($35.8 million) for its 5G network, which will be based on SA technology.

The initial deployment will cover the major urban centres of Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Shenzhen, along with 12 other cities. The firm aims to achieve nationwide coverage by 2021, having signed a deal in December 2019 with the country’s State Grid Corp allowing it to access the power company’s extensive network of infrastructure.

China Mobile was granted 260MHz of spectrum across the 2.6GHz and 4.8GHz bands, while China Telecom and China Unicom each received 100MHz in the 3.5MHz band. The latter two operators are joining forces for their 5G deployments.