China Mobile and China Broadcasting Network (CBN) finalised the terms of a wide-reaching network sharing and construction deal spanning 11 years and two phases, paving the way for the national cable TV operator to deploy 5G infrastructure.

In a statement, China Mobile said the agreement across its 31 provincial subsidiaries covers 5G network co-construction and sharing; network maintenance; market collaboration; and usage fees.

Phase one covers 2021 and involves CBN paying for access to China Mobile’s 2G, 4G and 5G networks.

The second phase runs until end-2031 and allows CBN to share China Mobile’s 2.6GHz network on a paid basis. After large-scale deployment of a shared 700MHz network, CBN will no longer use the market leader’s 2G and 4G networks.

During the first five years of phase two, CBN will pay China Mobile network usage fees for access to the 700MHz and 2.6GHz networks, at rates negotiated by both parties. In 2026, the companies will work out settlement fees for the remaining period.

The market collaboration agreement requires the companies to have independent branding and business operations.

China Mobile and CBN were granted 5G licences in 2019. CBN was awarded 80MHz of 700MHz spectrum and 100MHz in the 4.9GHz band, while China Mobile has 260MHz in the 2.6GHz and 4.9GHz bands.