China Broadcast Network (CBN), China’s newest mobile carrier, has launched a tender for the radio access portion of its national 5G network, Chinese press reported.
The tender, which seeks the provision of a total of 480,400 5G macro base stations in the 700MHz band, is being run by CNB’s network partner China Mobile, which is China’s largest mobile carrier.
According to the report, China Broadcast Network and China Mobile aims to deploy 400,000 5G base stations this year, as part of the companies’ efforts to launch a shared 5G network.
The two companies expect this shared network to reach nationwide coverage within the next two years.
China Broadcasting Network was established in October 2020 in Beijing, becoming the country’s fourth mobile operator.
China Broadcasting Network currently has 80 megahertz of spectrum in the 700 MHz band and 100 megahertz in the 4.9 GHz band.
The Chinese operator has committed to invest CNY250 million (currently $38.6 million) to launch services in 16 cities across China. In May 2020, the company had announced plans to deploy a nationwide 700 MHz 5G network in cooperation with China Mobile.
That agreement will enable China Mobile to improve its coverage using fewer base stations than with its 2.6 GHz network, particularly in rural regions across China.
Under the terms of the deal, CBN will have access to China Mobile’s 2.6 GHz network and will also receive guidance and investment from the mobile operator. China Mobile will share its 2.6 GHz network on a paid basis, with China Broadcasting Network able to access its 2G, 4G and 5G infrastructure prior to the launch of the 700 MHz network.
In March, Ericsson, China Broadcasting Network Corporation (CBN) and Unisoc said they had successfully completed a multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) downlink speed test showing the enhanced network capability of the 700 MHz frequency band for 5G.
The demo used Ericsson wireless equipment and downlink four-stream technology to achieve an average cell downlink rate of more than 600 Mbps on Unisoc’s commercial customer premise equipment (CPE) with four receive antennas, setting a record for downlink data rate of commercial 5G systems in the sub-1 GHz frequency range.
China Broadcasting Network’s five largest shareholders are China Broadcasting Network Corporation, with a 51% stake, State Grid Information & Telecommunication, Alibaba Venture Capital Management, Guangdong Radio Television Network and Beijing All Media and Culture.
In June 2019, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology granted commercial 5G licenses to the country’s three major operators China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom, as well as to China Broadcasting Network.