Out-Law News 1 min. read

Chinese firms draw up assets plan for telecoms towers joint venture

Three Chinese telecoms firms have met with authorities to draw up plans to complete the transfer of infrastructure to a new telecommunications joint venture company by the summer of 2015.

Last July, China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom formed the China Communications Facilities Services Corporation Ltd (CCFS) (3-page / 64 KB PDF), to focus on the construction, maintenance and operation of telecommunications towers.

According to the China Times, the joint venture partners held talks with China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) to agree on the inventory of towers and assets to be made available to CCFS.

All sides agreed to complete the handover of towers to CCFS by 31 August 2015, the China Times said. The re-evaluation of the transferred assets will be carried out at the end of October 2015.

CCFS was formed with a total registered capital of 10 billion renminbi ($1.63bn). China Mobile holds a 40% stake with China Unicom (30%) and China Telecom (30%).

China Unicom said the new company will “reduce duplication and redundant construction of telecommunications towers and related telecommunications infrastructure in the telecommunications industry in China”.

China Mobile was granted a 4G TD-LTE (Time Division-Long Term Evolution) licence in December 2013. Earlier this year, China’s state-run news agency Xinhua said MIIT had given approval for China Unicom and China Telecom to conduct 4G hybrid network tests in 16 cities.

According to Xinhua, China Mobile was "the main beneficiary of the TD-LTE licence issuances as it dominated TD-LTE research and development in recent years”. By the end of May 2014, China Mobile's 4G users totalled 8.11 million, Xinhua said.

In a statistical report on internet development in the country, released last January, the China Internet Network Information Center said that as of December 2013 China had 500 million mobile internet users. Mobile phones are “still the main driving force for the growth of internet users in China”, the report said.

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