China Telecom has expanded its LTE network coverage to around 98% of the population, having installed 310,000 new 4G base stations using refarmed spectrum in the 800MHz band, C114 quotes the company’s vice marketing manager Lu Liangjun as saying at a recent conference. Following the rollout, Telecom now owns 1.05 million base stations nationwide, with its LTE coverage effectively matching its CDMA2000 1x footprint. In addition, the official noted that Telecom has deployed carrier aggregation (CA) technology in more than 300 cities, equating to around 75% population coverage. Tests of tri-band carrier aggregation (3C) technology are also under way in several cities. Meanwhile, the official added that construction of its voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) platform – which it started in Q4 2015 – was completed in Q1 2017, and the cellco has begun whole-network trials of the system.
In a related development, all three of China’s mobile providers – including China Mobile and China Unicom – have confirmed that they will end domestic roaming and domestic long-distance charges from 1 September 2017. Xinhuanet writes that subscribers are currently charged between CNY0.6 (USD0.09) and CNY0.8 per minute for roaming within China.