Shared 5G infrastructure accelerated deployment in South Korea
Chinese carrier China Telecom is considering a plan to share resources and costs in the deployment of 5G infrastructure with rival telco China Unicom, China Telecom’s Chairman Ke Ruiwen said.
The executive said China Telecom had reached a tentative deal with China Unicom to jointly build a 5G network. The carriers have already set a joint team to explore cooperation in the 5G field.
“Co-building and co-sharing would bring great savings in capital expenditure, operating expenditure, as well as improve resource utilization,” Ke said.
Last week, China Unicom said it was negotiating with other carriers regarding cooperation for the deployment of shared 5G infrastructure. China Unicom chairman Wang Xiaochu said network-sharing could save CNY 200 billion ($28 billion) for each company.
Meanwhile, Ke said the resources of China Telecom and China Unicom are highly complementary, making it easier to cooperate in the 5G space.
The two telcos also said they were open to include China’s largest telco China Mobile in the initiative to deploy shared 5G infrastructure in low population density areas
China Telecom said earlier this year it planned to invest CNY 9 billion and build 40,000 5G base stations by the end of the year, in line with China Unicom’s plans. China Mobile said it would deploy 50,000 bases stations and invest CNY 24 billion this year.
China Tower Corp, the telecom tower company jointly owned and shared by the three mobile operators, said earlier this month that it had received client demands to install 65,000 5G base stations so far, a number that it expects to rise to 100,000 by the end of 2019.
China Telecom also reported Thursday a 1.32% decline in first-half revenue to CNY 190 billion. Net profit rose 2.5% to CNY 13.9 billion. As of June 30, China Telecom had 323 million mobile users, including 266 million 4G users.
In June, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) officially issued licenses for the launch of commercial 5G networks in the country.
The 5G permits were granted to state-run carriers China Mobile, China Unicom, China Telecom and state-owned broadcaster China Broadcasting Network.
At the end of last year, the MIIT issued licenses for 5G trials in a number of cities across China. Commercial rollout of 5G in China was initially expected to occur during 2020. However, the decision by the government to accelerate 5G deployment will trigger investment in the Chinese market.
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