Asia Express - Mobile Communications
3G Development in China August 24-30
August 28, 2009
- After months of hearsays about its tie-up with Apple, Chinese telecom operator China Unicom announced on August 28 that the company has signed a three-year agreement with Apples, whereby China Unicom will sell iPhones in China, Reuters reported on August 28. Manufactured by Taiwan-based EMS (Electronic Manufacturing Services) supplier Foxconn, this iPhone will not include the Wi-Fi (Wireless-Fidelity) function but will support GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications), WCDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access), and Bluetooth features.

Meanwhile, China Unicom stated that the company will deliver two versions of the 3G iPhone in the fourth quarter of 2009, according to a report by Dow Jones, citing Chang Xiaobing, Chairman and Chief Executive of China Unicom. Chang, however, did not disclose the price of iPhone. Whether or not China Unicom will be the exclusive provider of the phone in China was not yet known either.

- During his 9-day stay in Taiwan, China Mobile's CEO Wang Jianzhou China Mobile announced on August 26 that China Mobile has separately entered into a cooperation agreement with Taiwanese-based chipmaker MediaTek and the ITRI (Industrial Technology Research Institution, a non-profit research institute based in Taiwan, Taiwan's Commercial Times News reported on August 27. Under the agreements, China Mobile will collaborate with MediaTek and ITRI in the development of TD-SCDMA (Time Division-Synchronous Code Division Multiple Access) technology and further expand to TD-LTE (TD-Long Term Evolution). To date, more than 60% of China Mobile's TD-SCDMA products are based on MediaTek's chip solutions, according to the same source.

Meanwhile, China Mobile and HTC also signed a cooperation agreement for the development of mobile phones based on TD-SCDMA and TD-LTE technologies, according to another report by Taiwan's Commercial Times reported on August 25. Further details of these deals, however, were not yet disclosed.