China Mobile (CM) has joined forces with smaller rivals China Telecom (CT) and China Unicom (CU) in pooling each company’s respective tower and infrastructure assets under a new venture that constitutes China’s first-ever joint network infrastructure company. Known as China Communications Facilities Services Corporation Limited (CCFSCL), the joint venture announced last Friday will be 40% owned by CM, with CT and CU to hold respective stakes of 30.1% and 29.5% each. Observers say that the three carriers formed the venture with the goal of reducing capital expenditures and boosting investment returns on telecommunications towers and other network equipment required for the deployment of fourth- generation (4G) wireless broadband services that were offered to Chinese customers for the first time last year. Already, CM has constructed more than 200,000 4G base stations that exceed the total for the entire European market, and the company aims to deploy up to one million 4G masts throughout China by year’s end. (Meanwhile, sources indicate that, on a nationwide basis, CU and CT operate 150,000 towers and 100,000 towers, respectively.) In a statement, CU noted that the establishment of the new joint venture company will “reduce duplication and redundant construction of telecommunications towers” associated with each partner’s respective 4G network while encouraging “industry-wide investment return.”