Chinese operator China Broadnet shortlisted only domestic equipment vendors Huawei and ZTE for the second phase of a 5G core project valued at CNY82.5 million ($11.3 million), news portal DVBCN reported.

The project will cover 17 provinces in the north and 15 in the south, along with engineering services and a one-year warranty.

Each company bid for about 66 per cent of the full project.

The subsidiary of the state-owned national cable TV operator stated last month 5G coverage using 700MHz spectrum had reached all townships and it had 13 million users at end-June.

It is targeting 50 million in three years.

The operator was previously named China Broadcasting Network and signed a network sharing and construction deal with China Mobile to speed its 5G launch and cut network capex in 2020.

In June, Huawei and ZTE were awarded the lion’s share of two China Mobile 5G network tenders valued at CNY7.8 billion.

Huawei won about 52 per cent of the contracts and ZTE nearly 27 per cent.

Ericsson secured an 8.2 per cent share, Datang Mobile 7.1 per cent and Nokia 5.2 per cent.