Asia Express - Mobile Communications
3G Development in China June 22-28
June 26, 2009
- China Telecom recently announced the commencement of the second-round bid for CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) mobile phones beginning in early July 2009, the Xinhua News reported on June 26. Via the bid China Telecom plans to purchase around three million mobile phones, which will be distributed through China's four leading sales agents, including Postel Mobile, Aisidi Industry, Telling Telecommunication and Putian Tai'er. China Telecom revealed that the company plans to buy terminals supporting 3G at a price of over 1,000 RMB (US$147.1) and will also buy a small proportion of dual-SIM card dual- standby GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) mobile phones at a price of above 2,000 RMB (US$294.1). In March 2009, the company purchased one million 3G phones in its first-round bid.

- CATR (China Academy of Telecommunication Research), a national-level research organization in the telecom sector directly under China's MIIT (Ministry of Industry and Information Technology), is carrying out an off-site PoC (Proof-testing of Concept) based on China's TD-LTE (TD-Long Term Evolution), a TDD (Time Division Duplex) version of LTE, the Xinhua News reported on June 12. Participants in the off-site test are TD equipment providers, including Datang, ZTE, and Potevio. Equipment providers are expected to produce TD-LTE equipment for TD-LTE commercial or commercial trial operations by year-end 2009. The TD-LTE promotion is divided into three phases: first is PoC phase, which is followed by R&D technology testing and scaled experiment phases. Following the PoC phase, CATR is expected to conduct the second phase of testing soon and the third phase in the second half of 2010.

- Beijing Mobile, the subsidiary of China Mobile in Beijing, recently announced that the company will launch a promotion plan as part of its efforts to encourage 2G users to switch to 3G services, the Sohu News reported on June 23. According to the plan, Beijing Mobile's Go-Tone subscribers can directly access 3G services by means of TD-SCDMA phones without changing their existing phone numbers or SIM cards. In addition, if Go-Tone users subscribe to a two-year prepaid service plan, they can have TD-SCDMA phones for free. Currently, there are only two types of TD-SCDMA phones for Go-Tone subscribers to choose from in bundles with the prepaid service plan.

- China's MIIT (Ministry of Industry and Information Technology) pledged on June 24 that all 3G network infrastructure deployed by China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom based on their respective 3G technologies will be poised for national commercial launches by year-end 2010.