China Broadnet, previously known as China Broadcasting Network, had secured a 5G license in 2029
China Broadnet has become the fourth mobile operator in China to offer 5G services in the country, according to Chinese press reports.
The new player’s cheapest monthly plan, at CNY118 ($17.60), offers 40 gigabytes of data and 200 minutes of domestic phone calls, while its most expensive monthly package at CNY588 ($88) comes with 398 GB of data and 26 hours of calls.
The operator already supplies cable services and became the country’s fourth operator when formally inaugurated in 2020, having previously acquired a license for commercial 5G services in 2019. The carrier was initially known as China Broadcasting Network before rebranding earlier this year.
According to the reports, China Broadnet will use 5G infrastructure owned by China’s largest mobile operator China Mobile.
Last year, China Broadnet and China Mobile said they aim to initially deploy 400,000 5G base stations 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. In May 2020, the company had announced plans to deploy a nationwide 700 MHz 5G network in cooperation with China Mobile.
Under the terms of the deal, China Broadnet 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 Broadnet able to access its 2G, 4G and 5G infrastructure prior to the launch of the 700 MHz network.
China Broadnet’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.
China ended May with a total of 899.3 million subscribers in the 5G segment, according to the carriers’ latest available figures. Chinese operators recorded a net gain of 30.18 million 5G subscribers in May.
China Mobile, the world’s largest operator in terms of subscribers, added a total of 18.21 million 5G subscribers during last month. The operator said it ended May with 495.13 million 5G subscribers, compared to 221.95 million 5G customers in May 2021.
Rival operator China Unicom said it added a total of 4.93 million 5G subscribers during May. The carrier ended the month with 179.70 million 5G subscribers.
Meanwhile, China Telecom added 7.04 million 5G subscribers last month to take its total 5G subscribers base to 224.47 million. During the first five months of the year, the telco had added a total of 36.67 million 5G subscribers.
Chinese telcos have already deployed nearly 1.6 million 5G base stations nationwide. Local operators aim to build 600,000 new 5G base stations this year, including 134,000 already built in the first quarter. China expects to end this year with nearly 2 million 5G base stations, according to previous reports.
Chinese carriers reportedly deployed a total of 654,000 base stations nationwide during last year.
The country’s 5G networks now covers all prefecture-level cities, more than 98% of county-level urban areas and 80% of township-level urban areas across the country..
Earlier this year, MIIT unveiled plans to more than triple the number of 5G base stations over the next four years, targeting a total of 3.64 million by end-2025.