China's largest and smallest operators, China Mobile and China Broadcasting Network, announced plans to jointly build 400,000 700MHz 5G base stations this year at a network conference held on Wednesday.
China Mobile said it will push forward the joint construction of 700MHz networks in 2021, and realize the commercialization of 700MHz and VoNR terminals.
In terms of 700MHz support, China Mobile requires that all new terminals of more than RMB 4000 yuan ($614.4) must support 700MHz from March 1, 2021, and from October 1, 2021, all new terminals must support 700MHz.
In terms of VoNR support, all new terminals must support it from October 1, 2021. VoNR switches are not allowed to be set in the user interface; VoNR can be turned on precisely by region, and China Mobile's smart terminal capability configuration technology is recommended.
The conference also featured China Mobile's 2021 terminal product strategy and white papers published by China Mobile in cooperation with China Broadcasting Network. These white papers are related to 5G mobile products, pan-terminal products, and industrial terminal products, and specify the support and technical requirements for each category of 5G terminals in the 700MHz band.
China Broadcasting Network and China Mobile have signed a 5G strategic cooperation agreement on January 26, 2021, to officially launch the 700MHz 5G network construction and sharing.
In March 2020, China Broadcasting Network's 700MHz band 2×30MHz/40MHz large bandwidth technology solution was officially adopted by 3GPP as a 5G international standard.
In August 2020, China Broadcasting Network completed the first batch of 5G 700MHz equipment type approval for China's network based on this standard.
In the fourth quarter of 2020, the percentage of 5G handsets supporting the 700MHz band in China reached 55.3%.
As of February 2021, there are more than 60 cell phone models supporting 700MHz band, including more than 30 cell phone models supporting 700MHz 2×30MHz bandwidth and more than 30 pan-terminal and industrial modules.