China’s government allocated 5G spectrum in the mid-band frequency range to the three state-owned mobile operators, preparing the way for large-scale network testing in 2019 and the launch of commercial 5G services in 2020, China Daily reported.

Both China Telecom and China Unicom received 100MHz in the 3.5MHz band (also known as the C-band), while market leader China Mobile obtained 260MHz of spectrum in the 2.6GHz and 4.8GHz bands, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology revealed.

In October China’s IMT-2020 (5G) Promotion Group completed a third phase of non-standalone (NSA) trials and reached the halfway point in standalone (SA) trials. The country’s 5G R&D tests started in 2016 and are scheduled to run to end-2018 over three separate phases.

Yang Hua, secretary-general of the Telecommunication Development Industry Alliance, told China Daily that confirming the frequency bands will enable operators and equipment manufacturers to determine product development goals and accelerate the process.

He noted each time a frequency is changed it can take eight to ten months to redevelop products.