China Mobile reveals 5G network expansion plans; China Telecom and China Unicom agreement on 5G network sharing

Lu Lu, a senior researcher at the China Mobile Research Institute, said in an industry speech last week that China’s largest wireless network operator expects its 5G network to reach 50 cities by the end of 2019 and 300 major cities by the end of 2020.  Ms. Lu said that China Mobile aimed to reach commercial scale in 5G by June next year and that 5G private networking will be a major new enterprise network service.  Edge computing, which was not used for 4G-LTE, was seen as essential for delivering customizable private networks, she said. The flexible architecture of the new 5G network was the critical factor, allowing for much more granular services and applications.

In addition, China Mobile is planning to offer network slicing services by the middle of next year when its standalone 5G network achieves commercial scale.  That despite no standards for network slicing interoperability between different vendors.

“At present, China Mobile has reserved hundreds of nodes in edge computing rooms. Based on these nodes and 5G networks we will carry out trials of relevant edge computing services,” Lu said. China Mobile and its partners hoped to provide “full-stack edge-computing capabilities to industry customers,” she added.

The Chinese telco is building a “one-stop cloud-network convergence platform” that can provide customized service capabilities in both centralized data centers and data centers at the edge of cities around the country, Lu said.  The operator has issued network slicing templates for six industry verticals — power grid, autonomous driving, gaming, entertainment, banking and medical.  In partnership with Ericsson, China Mobile exhibited a network slicing-based autonomous vehicle application at MWC2019 in Barcelona earlier this year.

Earlier this year, Ms. Lu delivered a speech to introduce the achievements of the cooperation between China Mobile, Huawei, and Baidu, and elaborated on the concept of “5G network as a service”. She also invited partners to jointly build the 5G ecosystem and continuously promote the maturity of 5G technologies and industry development.

China Mobile Executive Vice-President Li Zhengmao has said he believes private networking and network slicing offered some of the best prospects among new 5G services.

Operators can create a network-slicing-as-a-service business model, providing high-reliability, high-performance and easy deployment for the vertical industry through a centralized network slicing service platform,” he said in an interview with state news service Xinhua.

But he acknowledged that the lack of clear business models in industry partnerships was one of the biggest problems.

China Mobile has set up a 5G Joint Innovation Center to drive application development, with more than 500 industry partners and more than 400 vertical industry partners, Li said.

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Separately, China Telecom and China Unicom, agreed to share the efforts to build and maintain 5G radio access networks across the country.  The purpose is to accelerate deployment and slash associated infrastructure costs.

Each wireless carrier will be responsible for operating their own core networks, but will share spectrum resources and a single RAN network (which typically accounts for around 80 per cent of an operator’s capex). Under the agreement, the two companies will be individually responsible for construction and maintenance in specific regions.

In a statement China Telecom said: “The commencement of the co-build and co-share cooperation is beneficial to the efficient construction of [the] 5G network and will rapidly create 5G service capability to enhance network quality and business experience.”

It added the reduced costs would reinforce market competitiveness and achieve a win-win for both parties.

Both operators will continue to handle core networks and branding completely independently, with the collaboration only applying to the construction and ongoing maintenance of physical infrastructure assets. The network will use the companies’ combined spectrum.

In 2016, the operators collaborated on 4G network construction, a move which reportedly saved China Unicom millions in capex within the first year and helped the two better compete with the country’s largest operator, China Mobile.

References:

https://www.lightreading.com/mobile/5g/china-mobile-eyes-network-slicing-market-in-2020-/d/d-id/753963?

https://www.mobileworldlive.com/featured-content/top-three/china-operators-ink-5g-network-share-deal/

https://www.huawei.com/en/press-events/news/2019/4/huawei-china-mobile-baidu-5g-vertical-lan

China Wireless Carriers Consider 5G Partnership Amidst 5G Budget Constraints in 2019

Chinese mobile operators may be soon working together to build 5G networks in order to limit the costs, the Nikkei Asian Review reportsAnd why not- all three are state owned!

China’s second- and third-ranked mobile carriers, China Telecom and China Unicom area already close to an agreement.  Number one China Mobile hasn’t commented yet.  Please see China Mobile chairman’s statement in the last paragraph below.

China Telecom Chairman and CEO Ke Ruiwen said that his company is in “deep consideration” to jointly build a 5G network with China Unicom. He confirmed that top management on both sides have already reached a “high level of consensus” on the matter and “substantial progress” has been made toward a final deal.

Co-building and co-sharing would bring great savings in capital expenditure, operating expenditure, as well as improve resource utilization,” Ke said, without revealing any numbers that might quantify the cost savings.

The 5G partnership was hinted at by China Unicom Chairman and CEO Wang Xiaochu earlier. During the company’s first-half earnings briefing, Wang floated the idea of a “co-built, co-shared” 5G infrastructure. Wang left the door open to cooperating with China Mobile and China Broadcasting Network, which were granted 5G licenses in June, but said China Unicom was “mutually complementary” with China Telecom, noting their strengths in different regions of the country.

The Chinese government hopes that developing a 5G network will help buoy the economy, but the three major mobile carriers are concerned about expenses and profits.   © AP ………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

China Telecom’s Ke also mentioned these advantages at the operator’s first-half results presentation.  Although Ke dodged questions from reporters in Hong Kong about the savings on investment and when an official agreement would be signed, he confirmed that top management on both sides have already reached a “high level of consensus” on the matter and “substantial progress” has been made toward a final deal.

Both mobile carriers are limiting their 5G investment budgets this year. China Telecom is keeping its budget unchanged from the beginning of the year at 9 billion yuan ($1.27 billion), while China Unicom is holding within the previously committed range of 8 billion yuan.

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The chief uncertainty about such a 5G mobile carrier partnership is about exactly what facilities the operators would share? Making use of the same cell towers, poles and other “passive” infrastructure would be no great leap. Through China Tower-a jointly owned telecom infrastructure business- all three mobile network operators have already pooled mobile towers to reduce costs.

China Tower is  a joint venture of the three major Chinese mobile carriers. Chairman Tong Jilu told reporters on Aug. 7 that the cell-tower builder has not changed its annual capital expenditure budget of 30 billion yuan since the beginning of the year. Tong stressed that his company’s investment “is up to the telecom operators,” adding the annual investment “would not likely exceed the budget.”

China Tower said earlier this month that it had received client demands to install 65,000 5G base stations to date, a number that it expects to rise to 100,000 by the end of the year.

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Market leader China Mobile has pledged to allocate CNY 24 billion to 5G this year, above the CNY 17 billion suggested in March. Chairman Yang Jie said that its total capital expenditure for 2019 will be under CNY 166 billion, below last year’s CNY 167.1 billion.  The company’s 5G investment this year is much smaller than the 38.7 billion yuan reported by Chinese media when 5G licenses were granted in early June. The government aims to spur job creation and support embattled equipment suppliers like Huawei and ZTE as the trade conflict with the U.S. drags on, but the carriers seem to have their own agenda.

Despite the government’s push for swift deployment of a network, Yang said “the peak period of 5G investment will be between 2020 and 2022.”  This author completing agrees with that comment with the real investment not starting till 2021 after IMT 2020 RIT/SRIT standard has been completed by ITU-R.

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References:

https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/5G-networks/Chinese-mobile-carriers-eye-sharing-5G-networks-to-curb-costs

https://www.telecompaper.com/news/china-telecom-unicom-consider-5g-network-partnership–1305741

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-telco-5g/china-telcos-weigh-sharing-5g-network-to-cut-costs-potentially-hurting-huawei-idUSKCN1VC17X

https://www.lightreading.com/mobile/5g/chinas-5g-market-has-teething-trouble/d/d-id/753657

China Mobile Explores 5G Tie-Up With National Cable TV Operator

by Liu Yanfei and Yang Ge of Caixin Global

China Mobile Ltd., the world’s biggest wireless carrier by subscribers, said it is talking with a recently formed national cable TV operator about cooperation in upcoming 5G networks and services, as it looks for new income sources to jumpstart its stagnating revenue.

China Mobile controls about 60% of its massive home market, making it flush with cash for aggressive spending on a state-of-the-art 5G network that has become a recent top priority for Beijing. By comparison, China Broadcasting Network Corp. was formed only five years ago by cobbling together many of the nation’s regional cable TV operators, and is relatively cash poor.

China Mobile and its two peers, China Telecom Corp. Ltd. and China Unicom Telecommunication Corp. Ltd., all received 5G licenses when the regulator awarded them in June, a move that was widely expected. But many industry watchers were surprised when China Broadcasting also received a 5G license because the company is relatively cash-poor and also has little or no experience in wireless services.

China Mobile had previously made known its desire to work with China Broadcasting, even though Unicom and China Telecom opposed such a move. China Mobile Chairman Yang Jie told Caixin on Thursday that talks between the two sides have taken place on building and sharing 5G networks, but he added there is nothing to reveal just yet.

“Building and sharing 5G networks is something the nation also supports, and businesses are also quite willing,” he told Caixin on the sidelines of an event to discuss the company’s latest financial results, which were also released on Thursday.

China Mobile Chairman Yang Jie says Thursday in Hong Kong that his company and China Broadcasting have discussed building and sharing 5G networks. Photo: VCG

China Mobile Chairman Yang Jie says Thursday in Hong Kong that his company and China Broadcasting have discussed building and sharing 5G networks. Photo: VCG

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A collaboration with China Broadcasting would give China Mobile access to one of the country’s biggest providers of programming via the former’s vast cable network. Such a tie-up could help to reinvigorate China Mobile’s revenues, which have stagnated in recent years as demand for its core wireless voice and data services starts to mature.

On Thursday, China Mobile reported interim results that showed the company’s revenue dipped by 0.9% to 204.4 billion yuan ($29 billion) in this year’s second quarter, while its profit plunged 18.8% to 32.4 billion yuan, according to calculations by Caixin.

China Broadcasting was formed in 2014 by combining many of the country’s regional cable-TV operators. It was originally set up to run cable TV networks, but was granted a license to operate internet and telecom services in 2016.

Before issuing 5G licenses in June, China’s telecom regulator called a meeting with each of the three big carriers’ top officials in charge of network construction, a source close to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) previously told Caixin. China Mobile raised its hopes of working together with China Broadcasting on that occasion, even though Unicom and China Telecom opposed.

As the nation’s dominant carrier, China Mobile is spending the most aggressively on 5G. Figures from the company indicate it now plans to spend about 24 billion yuan on the network this year. By comparison, Unicom has said it plans to spend 6 billion yuan to 8 billion yuan on 5G this year, while China Telecom has said it plans to spend about 9 billion yuan.

Contact reporter Yang Ge (geyang@caixin.com; twitter: @youngchinabiz)

Original article athttps://www.caixinglobal.com/2019-08-09/china-mobile-talks-5g-tie-up-with-national-cable-tv-operator-101449253.html

ZTE and China Mobile demo 5G 8K+VR ultra-wide bandwidth and 5G MU-MIMO at Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2019

by Margaret Ma, ZTE

1.  5G 8K+VR ultra-wide bandwidth:

ZTE Corporation a leading provider of telecommunications, enterprise and consumer technology solutions for the mobile internet, and China Telecom have today demonstrated 5G 8K+VR ultra-wide bandwidth experience at a 5G experience zone at Mobile World Congress (MWC) Shanghai 2019.

The 5G commercial network-based demonstration has not only showcased the excellent performance and business-enabled capabilities of China Telecom’s commercial network, but also reflected ZTE’s excellent 5G end-to-end commercial capabilities, providing a good model for 5G business cases.

ZTE will fully support the construction of China Telecom’s 5G commercial networks, exploring the application and business models of the 5G industry, helping establish China Telecom’s 5G brand leadership and achieve a win-win co-operation in the 5G era.

In addition, for visitors to MWC Shanghai 2019, China Telecom and ZTE have arranged a 5G Tour, travelling 5km with continuous coverage of the 5G network onboard a 5G experience bus. On this trip, visitors can enjoy diversified service experiences, including 5G-8K VR panoramic live streaming, 16-channel HD video live streaming, and 5G commercial smartphone video calls.

A screen on the bus shows the real-time 5G date rate that visitors can achieve, with a peak date rate of more than 1GBPS.

Empowered by the technologies of China Telecom and ZTE, the 5G-8K VR panorama live streaming combines 8K and the VR technology. The images and data captured by a 8K VR 360-degree camera are transmitted through a 5G network, allowing visitors to wear VR glasses and enjoy an immersive viewing experience.

With the capability of providing complete 5G end-to-end solutions, ZTE looks forward to working closely with industry partners to actively promote 5G business applications and practices, thereby facilitating the digital transformation of vertical industries.

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2. 5G MU-MIMO:

In addition, ZTE and China Mobile demonstrated a 5G MU-MIMO (Multi-User, Multiple-Input Multiple-Output) multi-user performance test based on 5G commercial base stations and smart phones at Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2019. The demonstration showcases both companies’ leading positions in commercial performance.

The MU-MIMO makes full use of multi-antenna features to maximize the utilization of spectrum resources, creating much greater revenue for users. It is the core technology of 5G to realize ultra-wide bandwidth.

This MU-MIMO test was carried out in China Mobile’s Guangzhou 5G field, employing ZTE’s industry-leading 160M full-band 4/5G dual-mode commercial base station. The base station supports dynamic spectrum sharing, achieving dual-network integration at 2.6GHz, and 16 ZTE commercial mobile phone Axon10 Pro.

The test result showcased that a 5G single cell throughput is over 3.7Gbps, while a single EU downlink data rate is more than 200Mbps. The result is also a four-time increase in network system capacity than that of the SU-MIMO technology. The test footage and data were also transmitted back to China Mobile’s booth at MWC Shanghai in real time from Guangzhou.

ZTE and China Mobile have been strategic partners for years, working together on 5G technical innovation and industry development. The two parties have witnessed a series of milestones in the path to 5G commercialization. China Mobile and ZTE jointly developed the world’s leading 5G prototype base station, the world’s leading 5G site, the world’s leading 2.6GHz NR IoDT and the world’s leading end-to-end system.

With great capability of providing complete 5G end-to-end solutions, ZTE looks forward to working closely with industry partners to actively promote 5G business applications and practices, thereby facilitating the digital transformation of vertical industries.

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About ZTE:
ZTE is a provider of advanced telecommunications systems, mobile devices, and enterprise technology solutions to consumers, carriers, companies and public sector customers. As part of ZTE’s M-ICT strategy, the company is committed to provide customers with integrated end-to-end innovations to deliver excellence and value as the telecommunications and information technology sectors converge. Listed in the stock exchanges of Hong Kong and Shenzhen (H share stock code: 0763.HK / A share stock code: 000063.SZ), ZTE’s products and services are sold to over 500 operators in more than 160 countries. ZTE commits 10 per cent of its annual revenue to research and development and has leadership roles in international standard-setting organizations. ZTE is committed to corporate social responsibility and is a member of the UN Global Compact. For more information, please visit www.zte.com.cn.

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Media Contact:
Margaret Ma
ZTE Corporation
Tel: +86 755 26775189
Email: ma.gaili@zte.com.cn

References:

https://www.zte.com.cn/global/about/news/20190628e3

http://asiatoday.com/pressrelease/zte-and-china-mobile-showcase-leading-mu-mimo-multi-user-performance-mwc-shanghai-2019

New Partnerships Aim to Simplify Global IoT Connectivity & Deployment

Two new partnerships promise to increase global IoT connectivity.

1.  Chunghwa Telecom and Tata Communications:

India’s global network operator Tata Communications is partnering with Taiwan’s Chunghwa Telecom to bring global connectivity to consumer electronics and Industrial Internet of Things devices. In a joint press release, the companies  said the partnership will enable Chunghwa Telecom to tap into additional revenues by connecting IoT devices through Tata Communications’ MOVE-IoT Connect platform which enables IoT devices to be deployed quickly -both locally and internationally- by leveraging Tata Communications’ ecosystem of mobile network operators worldwide.

The Taiwanese electronics industry output is expected to be worth $228 billion (NT$6.65 trillion) in 2018, and the wearables market grew at double digits in both volume and value terms in 2017. Chunghwa Telecom looks to capitalize on this growth through the existing IoT roaming services the operator provides.

Our aim is to serve three million IoT devices in the next three years, and Tata Communications will be one of our key partners to fulfill this ambition,” Ming-Shih Chen, president of mobile business group at Chunghwa Telecom.

Tata Communications MOVE will give our customers’ IoT services borderless network coverage across 200 countries, ensuring a consistently high-quality and reliable user experience.”

One of Chunghwa Telecom’s first Tata Communications’ MOVE – IoT Connect customers is TaiDoc Technology, which manufactures premium medical devices to improve people’s health and quality of life. TaiDoc will use Tata Communications MOVE – IoT Connect to extend the reach of its devices to countries such as China, Thailand and the U.S.

Our aim is to serve three million IoT devices in the next three years, and Tata Communications will be one of our key partners to fulfil this ambition,” said Ming-Shih Chen, President of Mobile Business Group, Chunghwa Telecom. “Tata Communications MOVE™ will give our customers’ IoT services borderless network coverage across 200 countries, ensuring a consistently high-quality and reliable user experience. At the same time, we’re able to extend our business easily by being part of the Tata Communications’ MOVE™ ecosystem of mobile network operators. It’s a win-win for us.”

IoT devices require borderless, secure and scalable connectivity to enable the capture, movement and management of information worldwide. Cellular connectivity is an effective foundation for IoT services, but the problem is that today’s mobile networks are inherently local – there is no such concept as a global mobile network,” said Anthony Bartolo, chief product officer at Tata Communications.

We want to change that. We’re excited to work with Chunghwa Telecom and other leading mobile network operators around the world to build a truly global ecosystem of connectivity, and spur IoT adoption by businesses worldwide.”

References:

https://www.tatacommunications.com/press-release/taiwans-largest-mobile-network-operator-chunghwa-telecom-makes-play-internet-things-tata-communications/

https://www.telecomasia.net/content/chunghwa-telecom-tata-com-ink-deal-global-iot-connectivity

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2. China Unicom and Telefonica:

China Unicom has signed an agreement with Spain’s Telefonica designed to simplify and accelerate IoT deployments for their respective enterprise customers globally.  The partnership will give the two operators access to each others’ network and allow them to provide IoT products and services across several key markets through a single global SIM card.  

The agreement will also consolidate their respective positions in IoT in Europe, Latin America and China, three of the most important IoT markets in the world, the companies said in a joint statement.  Enterprise customers of Telefonica and China Unicom will be able to easily and seamlessly deploy IoT products and services in these three regions with a single global IoT SIM card.  By using a unified IoT connectivity management platform, they will be able to control connections globally and to localize IoT SIMs once they reach a certain geography (subscription swap), the pair said.

We are leveraging IoT technologies to accompany our customers on their digital transformation journey, where IoT has a very important role to play. Telefónica IoT is named a Leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Managed M2M Services worldwide, maintaining that position we have held since inception four years ago…..Simplifying massive IoT deployments is key and therefore we are strengthening our ecosystem of partners. Our partnership with China Unicom will strengthen Telefónica’s capability to meet our global customer needs,” Telefonica chief IoT officer Vicente Muñoz said.

Enterprise customers will be able to enjoy these new IoT capabilities later this year,  Muñoz added.

In related news, China Mobile has signed a deal with UK’s Vodafone, under which the pair have agreed to resell each other’s IoT services for the first time.  The agreement, announced at the recent Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, will see each company share new IoT project opportunities with their partners.

Vodafone customers will be given access to China Mobile IoT SIMs for deployments in China, while China Mobile customers wanting to offer IoT-enabled products outside of China will do so via Vodafone’s Global IoT SIM and management platform.

Vodafone will manage all elements of the operational model for its customers including on-boarding, SIM and logistics as well as billing and support. The company will act as a single point of contact for its enterprise IoT customers wanting to move into China.

China Mobile will discuss the possibility for IoT sales opportunities with Vodafone for companies wanting to expand outside of China.

Dorothy Lin, China Mobile International’s head of mobile business partnership, said the collaboration with Vodafone will allow the Chinese mobile giant to offer customers the greatest possible reach of IoT services.

Having reached over 200 million IoT connections last year, China Mobile aims to increase the connections by 60% in 2018,” Lin noted.

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References:

https://www.telefonica.com/en/web/press-office/-/telefonica-and-china-unicom-partner-in-iot

https://www.telecomasia.net/content/china-unicom-telefonica-simplify-iot-deployment-enterprises

 

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