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Telecom giants get 5G frequencies

By Ouyang Shijia and Ma Si | China Daily Europe | Updated: 2018-12-16 12:46
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Move will facilitate further testing, rollout of ultrafast networks around the world

A 5G-tech promotion stand at the recent China International Import Expo in Shanghai. [Photo by Jin Rong/For China Daily]

The government has allocated specific low and medium-frequency bands to the nation's major three telecom carriers, China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom, as a key step aimed at speeding up the rollout of fifth-generation communication networks and further testing on new digital applications.

"Specifying the designated frequency bands for 5G tests will motivate operators to channel their resources into those bands, accelerating the construction of 5G networks," says Xiang Ligang, CEO of telecom industry website

According to the announcement made by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology on Dec 6, China Mobile will obtain bands in the 2,515-2,675 megahertz range and the 4,800-4,900 MHz range. China Telecom and China Unicom will use the bands in the 3,400-3,500 MHz and 3,500-3,600 MHz ranges, respectively.

The move brings about a relatively balanced assignment of frequency band resources, industry experts say.

"We expect China Mobile will use the 2,600 MHz frequency band for its initial 5G network construction," Wu Chaoze, chief telecom analyst at CSC Financial Co, said in a report posted on the company's official WeChat account. "Despite lacking a mature value chain, that lower-frequency band will cover a larger area and offer continuous network coverage."

Xiang said that adding the 3,400-3,600 MHz band will help align the other two operators with global 5G requirements.

According to Xiang, the high-frequency band is set to be distributed to carriers gradually in the future.

"The low-frequency band offers long radio propagation and covers a larger area. The high-frequency band provides higher bandwidth and higher data rates. When put together, both low-frequency bands and high-frequency bands will meet the different requirements for 5G use," Xiang said.

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