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Asia

China Broadnet to complete 700 MHz 5G rollout by year-end

China's debutant operator China Broadnet says it will offer nationwide commercial 5G coverage by November.

The state-owned company, created out of the combined nationwide assets of cable TV players, launched its initial 5G pilots in 20 provinces in June (see China's newest operator launches into 5G market).

China Broadnet chairman Song Qizhu says it has begun pilots in another nine provinces and promises to provide nationwide service by the time the landmark communist party congress is held in November.

Broadnet is China's only 700 MHz band rollout and would provide 'deep and continuous coverage' in the top 300 cities and 100 counties.
 (Source: Cynthia Lee/Alamy Stock Photo)
Broadnet is China's only 700 MHz band rollout and would provide 'deep and continuous coverage' in the top 300 cities and 100 counties.
(Source: Cynthia Lee/Alamy Stock Photo)

The company says the pilots are small-scale, populated with mostly internal users, and are aimed at optimizing performance ahead of a full commercial launch.

It also expects to complete its national rollout, built in partnership with China Mobile, by the end of the year (see China Mobile, CBN set out 5G partnership terms).

Huge scale

Although it is China's smallest network, it has already achieved huge scale by global standards, with 200,000 basestations deployed last year and another 280,000 expected to be installed this year.

Vice-president Zeng Qingjun said the network, China's only 700 MHz band rollout, would provide "deep and continuous coverage" in the top 300 cities and 100 counties, with broad VoNR coverage as well.

As the first new entrant into the world's most populous market in nearly two decades, Broadnet is starting a long way behind. Not just in 5G, where its competitors have a three-year head start, but also in its legacy fixed-line broadband business, where its 40 million customers account for just 7% of the market.

But it plans to leverage its cable TV and content background into a niche position, offering 'national cultural content' and integrating mobile communication, traditional broadcasting and 5G NR broadcasting.


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Speaking at a conference this week, Zeng sketched out the new telco's target markets and services.

Consumers will be served by the combination of Broadnet's 700MHz network and partner China Mobile's 2.6GHz network, with the operator selling combined 5G, cable TV and broadband packages.

It also sees a major government services market, including government information, as well as smart city, public service and emergency broadcast services.

Besides these, Zeng said Broadnet would also go after the 5G enterprise market in verticals such as smart grid, industrial Internet, education, ports and mining.

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— Robert Clark, contributing editor, special to Light Reading

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