Chinese regulator u-turn on MVNOs

Privately-run MVNOs have been approved by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT). The regulator’s stance on the issue has changed swiftly; in January, MIIT was proposing two-year MVNO trials – they could now launch as early as May.

Firms wishing to offer MVNO services must be approved by MIIT. They can then begin providing services once they have acquired bandwidth from any of the three major Chinese operators - China Mobile, China Telecom or China Unicom.

Companies confirmed to be planning an MVNO offering include software company Ufida and home appliance firm Suning. Also rumoured are Tencent and Alibaba. Any firms wishing to provide MVNO services must have some telecom experience, as well as a minimum of 50 employees.

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