5G Frequency Spectrum in China

What frequency bands have been allocated to 5G in China?

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Editorial Team - everything RF

Jul 22, 2020

China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) held the auction for 5G spectrum bands in December 2018. Country’s telecom operators acquired spectrum in 2.5 GHz, 3.5 GHz and 4.8 GHz (n41, n78 and n79) bands.

China has allocated the following frequency bands for 5G:

BandFrequencyAuction StatusOperator
n412.515 - 2.675 GHzAuctionedChina Mobile
n783.4 - 3.5 GHzAuctioned
China Telecom
n783.5 - 3.6 GHzAuctioned
China Unicom
n794.8 - 4.9 GHzAuctioned
China Mobile
n25824.75 - 27.5 GHzUpcoming-
n26037 - 40 GHzUpcoming-
n25940 - 42.5 GHzUpcoming-

5G services are provided by three telecom operators in Mainland China: China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom.

China Mobile launched their 5G service in late 2019 while China Unicom and China Telecom started rolling out 5G in 2020.

In a report by Bloomberg in June 2020, tests conducted on China Mobile 5G network in Beijing showed the 5G service was consistent enough to play high-definition (1080p) video while riding in a car. However, there was no 5G signal inside the subway and shopping malls in the central area of Beijing Central Business district. Most of the Zhongnanhai district, home of the central government, had no 5G coverage. The test was conducted on a Huawei P40 Pro smartphone.

Chinese Telecom operators are rapidly improving their 5G coverage and quality. China Telecom is targeting 300,000 5G base stations across China by the end of 2020. China Mobile expects its 5G network to reach 300 cities across China by the end of 2020. It was reported that China had more than 65 million 5G subscribers by the end of March 2020. 

In April 2020, China Telecom, in partnership with Spirent Communications, successfully completed a Standalone (SA) 5G network verification for scaled deployment. China Unicom and China Telecom are expected to launch 5G SA networks by end of 2021.

MIIT is considering the allocation of mmWave 5G spectrum (24.75 – 27.5 GHz, 37 – 42.5 GHz) in the near future although no official date has been announced yet.