The Fog Over China's 3G Begins to Clear

Apr 12, 2007, 01:00 ET from CEOCIO China Magazine

    BEIJING, April 12 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ -- CEOCIO Magazine, through its
 China Business Feature ( ), recently reported on
 the latest developments on China's 3G industry. The writer commented that
 the uncertainties surrounding China's telecommunications future was finally
 starting to clear.
     China Business Feature reported that, "China Mobile's first round of
 bidding for TD-SCDMA network construction started in March, and the
 procurement of network equipment is expected to be done by the end of May.
 With 15,000 base stations deployed, the TD-SCDMA network covers ten cities
 and 95% of the existing networks. It will be completed and launched by the
 end of October. RMB26.7 billion (US$3.4 billion) has been put aside for
 TD-SCDMA construction.
     "The 3G licenses have yet to be issued and the scheme for telecom
 reorganization is still nebulous. Due to risks in the first commercial
 deployment of the TD-SCDMA network, China's 3G is still a little gun-shy.
     "In any case, TD-SCDMA is coming to China, and it's getting lots of
 governmental support for the start-up. TD-SCDMA is of great political and
 economic significance as the mobile communication standard was initiated by
 China itself. There is no turning back on this venture as China's telecom
 industry makes its first formal steps into the 3G era.
     "Meanwhile, doubts about 3G licenses and telecom reorganization are
 being clarified. The most likely scheme for telecom reorganization goes
 something like this: China Unicom sells the CDMA network to China Telecom,
 and merges its GSM network business with China Netcom. If so, in the 3G
 era, a new landscape will develop where two new companies will compete
 against China Mobile. The government authorities have always stated that to
 avoid repeated investments, three 3G licenses will be rational. Now, the
 most likely outcome is that China Mobile will be granted a TD-SCDMA
 license, China Telecom will be given a CDMA2000 license, and China Unicom
 and China Netcom will share one WCDMA license.
     "With the disclosure of China Mobile's procurement list of TD-SCDMA
 equipment, telecom equipment vendors are even more eager than the operators
 to start the bidding war. Although RMB20 billion (US$2.5 billion) is not a
 stunning figure for manufacturers with high expectations for 3G, everyone
 is clear that the results of the bidding will have a great impact on the
 further application of 3G."
     This is an abstract of the report. Read the complete story at .
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