China Broadcasting Network Co (CBN) was formally established as the country’s fourth mobile operator after receiving the go-ahead from the country’s regulator earlier this year, China Daily reported.

The company signed a network sharing and construction deal with China Mobile in May to speed its 5G launch and drastically slash funds needed to construct its network. As a result of the deal, the newcomer’s users will also be able to access 4G services.

CBN will compete with existing players China Unicom, China Telecom and China Mobile in the country’s burgeoning 5G market.

Despite only issuing licences for commercial services in June 2019 and launching commercial services four months later, the country has fast become one of the world leaders in the technology, with almost 500,000 base stations supporting the technology deployed by early September.

As of Q3 2020, GSMA intelligence estimated the market had more than 104 million 5G connections, comprising in excess of 6 per cent of total connections across all mobile technologies.

In addition to TV affiliate China Broadcasting Network, the newcomer’s major shareholders include government-owned State Grid Information & Telecommunication Group and the VC arm of e-commerce giant Alibaba.