China Mobile Takes On China Broadcasting Network as 5G Partner
What’s new: China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile telecom operator based on number of subscribers, expects to build a 5G wireless system jointly with China Broadcasting Network Corp. Ltd. next year, though the two state-owned companies do not plan to form a joint venture, China Mobile said.
Chairman Yang Jie disclosed the plan while reporting the carrier’s first-half results. The initial plan is that China Mobile will be in charge of construction and operation of the 5G system and China Broadcasting Network will contribute with funding, Yang said.
China Mobile said 188,000 5G base stations were put into use in more than 50 cities by the end of June, and the company plans to build 300,000 more stations by year end.
The mobile operator signed up about 60 million new 5G users in the first six months, and it raised its full-year target to 100 million from an earlier goal of 70 million.
The background: China Mobile is one of the Chinese companies targeted by the Trump administration’s so-called “clean network” initiatives. Under the expanded program announced earlier this month by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Chinese carriers like China Mobile are not allowed to connect with U.S. telecom networks, which could prevent these services from offering U.S. roaming to Chinese travelers.
China Mobile generated about 400 million yuan ($57.6 million) of revenue in U.S.-related business last year, accounting for about 0.05% of its total revenue, Yang said.
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