China Unicom reveals joint 5G network progress - Mobile World Live

China Unicom reveals joint 5G network progress

12 NOV 2020

HUAWEI MBBF 2020: China Unicom’s head of 5G deployment highlighted the wide benefits of a joint buildout of a standalone (SA) RAN with China Telecom for users as well as the bottom-line.

Miao Shouye, director of China Unicom’s 5G Co-construction and Sharing Working Group, said the companies now share 200MHz of 3.5GHz spectrum and recently demonstrated peak downlink rates of 3.2Gb/s, showing the substantial upside of the joint rollout.

“With a sharing approach, the benefits are very visible,” he said, noting together they can reduce capex by 30 per cent and opex by 35 per cent, “making a real convincing business case”.

Given the high investment and questions about the return on investment of 5G, he said the operators sought a cost-effective way to build a network offering wide coverage, fast data rates and a premium experience.

The initial step was to lay a solid foundation, with the next step to focus on improving user experience and simplifying all its networks to reduce costs.

It plans to converge its 3G and 4G antennas at base stations to reduce power consumption, and plans to shut its 2G network by the end of 2021.

Miao said China Unicom will be the first in the world to deploy 5G on 26GHz mmWave spectrum, providing potential peak speeds of 9GB/s.

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Joseph Waring

Joseph Waring joins Mobile World Live as the Asia editor for its new Asia channel. Before joining the GSMA, Joseph was group editor for Telecom Asia for more than ten years. In addition to writing features, news and blogs, he...

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