China’s recently revised spectrum regulations offer hope that the country’s 5G frequencies can be made available via a market-based approach, rather than relying on administrative approval as in the past.
According to the new Radio Regulations, which went into effect 1 December, the country’s radio frequency resources can be allocated through administrative approvals and a market-based approach, which includes bidding and auctions, C114.net reported.
The government allocated TD-LTE spectrum to the country’s three mobile operators three years ago, and about a year later awarded nationwide FDD-LTE 4G licences to China Telecom and China Unicom, a move that helped put them on more equal footing with market leader China Mobile.
The country’s IMT-2020 (5G) Promotion Group last month announced technical specifications for the second phase of 5G tests. According to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), China will accomplish 5G technology R&D tests in 2016-2018 and carry out product R&D tests in 2018-2020.
The general industry consensus is to bring 5G to the market in 2020, with Phase 1 standardisation of 5G set for completion sometime in 2018.