China allocates spectrum for nationwide 5G trials

10 Dec 2018

China's Ministry of Industry and Information technology has issued nationwide 5G trial licenses to the market's big three mobile operators.

China Unicom has announced it has been approved to use the 3.5-GHz to 3.6-GHz frequency range for a nationwide 5G trial rollout until June 2020.

Under the arrangement, the operator will gradually cease to use the frequency in the 2555-MHz to 2575-MHz range that it had been using for 5G trials and progressively return it to the ministry.

China Telecom has meanwhile been approved to use the 3.4-GHz to 3.5-GHz frequency range for its own trails, and will return its 2635-MHz to 2655-MHz spectrum over the same timeframe.

The returned spectrum will presumably be reassigned to the market's largest operator China Mobile, which has been approved to use spectrum in the 2515-MHz to 2675-MHz and the 4800-MHz to 4900-MHz ranges for its nationwide 5G trials. The 2.5-GHz spectrum will include frequencies refarmed from China Mobile's pool of TD-LTE spectrum.

In a statement, the MIIT said it believes the division of spectrum between the three state-owned operators to be fair.

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