China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has approved plans for full-service provider China Unicom to refarm frequencies in the 900MHz band currently used for 2G, 3G and 4G services for its 5G systems. The operator noted that the propagation characteristics of the spectrum in question – 904MHz-915MHz/949MHz-960MHz – enable wide coverage, with low transmission loss, strong penetration and low network deployment costs. As such, the MIIT’s approval for the use of the band for 5G will enable Unicom to rapidly promote 5G coverage in rural and remote areas with less investment, improving connectivity for citizens in those areas, ‘expanding low-frequency 5G industry potential’ and ‘building a strong network base’ for the provider’s future development.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, China Unicom claimed a total of 201 million 5G package subscriptions at the end of September 2022. Notably, this figure only represents the number of Unicom customers with a tariff that permits them to access the 5G network and does not take into consideration network availability or the compatibility of the user’s device.