The Chinese government said that the new licenses will be valid until 2020

China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has issued nationwide 5G trial licenses to the country’s three mobile operators.

China Unicom said it has been approved to use the 3.5 GHz to 3.6 GHz frequency band for a nationwide 5G trial rollout until June 2020. The telco said that it will gradually cease to use the frequency in the 2.555 GHz to 2.575 GHz range that it had been using for 5G trials and progressively return it to the MIIT.

China Telecom was allowed to use the 3.4 GHz to 3.5 GHz frequency range to carry out 5G trials in mainland China. Under the agreement with the Chinese government, China Telecom will return its 2.635 GHz to 2.655 GHz spectrum over the same timeframe.

Meanwhile, China Mobile, the country’s largest operator, has been approved to use spectrum in the 2.515 GHz to 2.675 GHz and the 4.8 GHz to 4.9 GHz ranges for its nationwide 5G trials. The 2.5-GHz spectrum will include frequencies to be re-farmed from China Mobile’s existing TD-LTE spectrum.

“China Mobile will continue to work together with various industry players to actively promote 5G technology research and development, networks and business application trials,” the telco said in a statement.

Japan excludes Chinese vendors from public procurement

In other Asian telecom news, Japan has decided to effectively exclude Chinese vendors Huawei Technologies and ZTE from public procurement from April, Japanese press reported, citing government sources.

Japanese government spokespersons have said that the new policy is not aimed at excluding any particular companies, in a move to avoid a conflict between Japan and China.

The ban will cover purchases of personal computers, servers and telecommunications equipment by the government agencies.

According to the reports, Japanese carrier will gradually start to replace certain equipment provided by Chinese vendors in its core networks.

In response to this move by the Japanese government, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang warned against “discriminatory treatment” of Chinese companies.

“We have been asking the Japanese side to provide a fair, transparent and non-discriminatory environment for Chinese companies’ operation and development in Japan,” the official said. “China will pay close attention to the implementation of relevant regulations of the Japanese side.”

In August, Australian authorities announced a decision to prevent certain vendors from taking part in the rollout of 5G mobile networks across the country, effectively banning Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE from involvement. Huawei said the decision by the Australian government to block the company from the country’s domestic 5G market is politically motivated and not the result of a fact-based decision-making process.

Also in August, U.S. President Donald Trump signed the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, which includes new regulations that ban government agencies doing business with Chinese vendors Huawei and ZTE. The bill prohibits the U.S. government and its contractors from buying certain telecommunications and video surveillance equipment from Huawei, ZTE and other Chinese communications companies.

Last month, Huawei has said it was seeking to establish contacts with New Zealand authorities following a recent announcement that the vendor has been blocked from participating in local carrier Spark’s 5G network deployment, New Zealand press reported. New Zealand’s Intelligence services Minister Andrew said that the government’s decision not to allow Spark to use Huawei gear over national security risk was not a ban.

Meanwhile, some U.S. lawmakers have urged the Canadian government to ban Huawei from providing 5G gear to Canadian carriers over security allegations. Huawei’s CFO was recently arrested in Canada for extradition to the United States, further roiling international relationships between China and the two North American countries.

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