China Mobile has signed a 5G co-construction and sharing agreement with 5G licensee China Broadcasting Network (CBN, also known as China Radio and Television), granting the operator access to the sought-after 700MHz spectrum. Under the terms of the collaboration, the two partiers will jointly invest in the construction of a 700MHz 5G network – at a ratio of 1:1 – and will jointly own and have rights to use the 700MHz 5G network assets. China Mobile will also provide transmission carrier network services to CBN between 5G base stations in the 700MHz band and CBN’s connection points in local cities or provincial centres on a paid basis. Operation and maintenance of the shared 700MHz network will be carried out by China Mobile, with CBN set to pay fees to the larger cellco for the service. Further, China Mobile will provide CBN with wholesale access to its 2600MHz 5G network for the duration of the agreement and to its 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G networks until the 700MHz system becomes operational.
Finally, China Mobile added in a statement that: ‘On the basis of maintaining their respective independent branding and operations, the parties shall jointly explore model innovations in areas such as products and operations, carry out in depth collaboration in areas such as content and platforms, and pursue collaborative operations in areas such as channels and customer services.’ The agreement is set to last until 31 December 2031, with potential renewal subject to negotiation between the two parties.