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Chinese operators to set up infrastructure sharing JV

The move should spur TDD-FDD integration

China’s three mobile network operators are in talks to set up a joint venture to manage the construction of their network towers, the country’s regulator has confirmed.

In a statement on its website, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said the move will lessen the firms’ impact on the environment, help the industry reduce its construction costs and benefit subscribers.

In December last year, the MIIT issued China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom with 4G licences. Market leader China Mobile commercially launched its network later that month, launching a new brand He to package its services.

The issuing of 4G licences forms part of the national Broadband China  strategy. China is aiming for annual average growth of 20 per cent in the information consumption industry from 2013 to 2015, according to a statement released after an executive meeting of the State Council in July.

However, while the opportunities in China have been much publicised due to the country’s large population and growth potential, it has not been an easy path for the nation’s operators of late. Last month, China Mobile reported that its profit suffered in 1Q14 as the firm struggled with cost control measures in an “increasingly fierce” environment. Profit attributable to shareholders fell 9.4 per cent year on year from RMB27.88bn to RMB25.24bn. This was despite recording a 7.8 per cent year on year increase in operating revenue.

China Mobile had 776.68 million subscribers as of March 2014 according to Informa’s WCIS, leading the country’s other two operators by a margin. China Unicom had 291.33 million subscribers and China Telecom 190.4 million, according to the figures.

The Broadband World Forum is taking place on the 21st – 23rd October 2014 at the RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre, Amsterdam. Click here to download a brochure for the event

 


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