China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) is taking another stride towards opening up the telecom sector, preparing for trials of privately-owned fixed broadband networks.
The ministry is planning to conduct a pilot project focused on the implementation of private fixed broadband networks in the second half of the year, Marbridge Dailyreported.
The research note states, citing an industry source, that the MIIT has already prepared draft documents for the trials, and will soon make a formal announcement and commence the application process.
Private companies may reportedly be allowed to begin offering commercial fixed broadband services by as early as the second quarter of next year.
The Chinese government first announced in June 2012 that it plans to progressively open the telecom sector up to private investment.
The MIIT has since awarded trial MVNO licenses to 11 companies and instructed the three state-owned operators to partner with the brands for a two-year MVNO trial.
In January, the ministry also announced plans to allow foreign investment in seven telecom VAS segments within the Shanghai Free Trade Zone.