China’s three mobile carriers are currently carrying out 5G field trials in urban areas across the Asian country
China is expected to invest CNY900 billion-CNY1.5 trillion billion ($134 billion – $223 billion) in the deployment of 5G networks during the 2020-2025 period, Digitimes reported, citing information from the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT).
During the same period, the direct and indirect economic value derived from the commercial operations of 5G networks in the Chinese market will reach CNY10.6 trillion ($1.6 trillion) and CNY24.8 trillion ($3.7 trillion) respectively, according to the academy.
Meanwhile, related 5G revenues generated by China’s telecom operators will total CNY1.9 trillion ($283 billion) during the projected period, CAICT added.
China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom are currently carrying out a number of 5G trials in urban areas across China. In December 2018, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) had issued nationwide 5G trial licenses to the country’s three mobile operators.
China Unicom said it has been approved to use the 3.5 GHz to 3.6 GHz frequency band for a nationwide 5G trial rollout until June 2020. The telco said that it will gradually cease to use the frequency in the 2.555 GHz to 2.575 GHz range that it had been using for 5G trials and progressively return it to the MIIT.
China Telecom was allowed to use the 3.4 GHz to 3.5 GHz frequency range to carry out 5G trials in mainland China. Under the agreement with the Chinese government, China Telecom will return its 2.635 GHz to 2.655 GHz spectrum over the same timeframe.
Meanwhile, China Mobile, the country’s largest operator, has been approved to use spectrum in the 2.515 GHz to 2.675 GHz and the 4.8 GHz to 4.9 GHz ranges for its nationwide 5G trials. The 2.5-GHz spectrum will include frequencies to be re-farmed from China Mobile’s existing TD-LTE spectrum.
The government is also carrying out its own 5G testing program. In October last year, China’s IMT-2020 (5G) Promotion Group said it had completed a third phase of non-standalone trials.
Tests in this phase included both indoor and outdoor trials, core network and base station functions. Huawei, ZTE and the China Information and Communication Technologies Group completed trials using the 3.5 GHz and 4.9 GHz frequency bands. The IMT-2020 Promotion Group said that more than 20 companies participated in the third phase of China’s 5G trials, including Ericsson, Nokia Shanghai Bell, Samsung, Qualcomm, Intel and Rohde & Schwarz. Operators participating in the IMT-2020 Promotion Group include China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom and Japanese telecoms operator NTT DoCoMo.
The group’s next step is to conduct interoperability tests on system and chip system terminals.
China’s 5G R&D tests started in 2016 and have involved three phases: key technologies testing, the verification of technology and solution and 5G system verification.
The IMT-2020 (5G) promotion group was jointly established in 2013 by the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the National Development and Reform Commission, and the Ministry of Science and Technology, based on the original IMT-Advanced Promotion Group. In China, it is the primary platform through which 5G research and international exchange and cooperation is conducted.
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