The boards of China’s three major mobile operators approved new five-year rental agreements with China Tower, enabling the trio to continue the buildout of high-efficiency networks and accelerate the construction of low-carbon infrastructure.

In a statement, China Unicom noted the framework agreement, which runs until end-2027, will enable it to “promote a quick, precise and effective 5G and 4G network rollout”, and reduce capex and operating expenses.

Under a new commercial pricing and service agreement, China Mobile’s expected maximum rental costs including tower and related asset rental and maintenance expenses will be CNY44 billion ($6.3 billion) in 2023, up from CNY42.1 billion in 2021.

The proposed maximum annual spending by China Unicom in 2023 is CNY19.7 billion. The operator spent CNY18.4 billion in 2021.

China Telecom’s expected revenue cap in 2023 is set at CNY22.3 billion, up from CNY19.9 billion in 2021.

After taking into account factors including inflation, the operators and China Towers stated they will combine the consumer price index of the previous year to determine the corresponding adjustment of maintenance costs and site fees for the next.

China Mobile owns a 27.9 per cent stake in the tower company, China Unicom 20.7 per cent and China Telecom 20.5 per cent.