Asia Express - Mobile Communications
China Unicom to Boost Investments in 2G and 3G Services
August 15, 2008
Chinese mobile phone operator China Unicom, soon to be merged with Chinese fixed-line operator China Netcom, has announced that it plans to invest up to 100 billion RMB (US$14.6 billion; US$1=6.9 RMB) in upgrading and establishing its 2G and 3G networks over the period 2009 - 2010, South China Morning Post reported on August 14. Of the total investment, it is projected that 30 billion RMB (US$4.4 billion) per year will be used for expanding Unicom-Netcom's 2G GSM (Global System for Mobile communications) networks, while 20 billion RMB (US$2.9 billion) per year will be spent on the 3G service, according to the same source.

As per China's telecom industry restructuring scenario, China Unicom will sell its CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) network to China Telecom and then merge with China Netcom. The merger is slated for completion by October 2008, South China Morning Post again reported, adding that the company will likely be awarded a 3G license based on the WCDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access) system following the completion of merger with China Netcom.