Asia Express - Mobile Communications
3G/4G Development in China January 17-23
January 21, 2011

- Cina Telecom revealed on January 18 that the company's mobile phones based on CDMA(Code Vision Multiple Access) 2000 1xEVDO (Evolution-Data Optimized) standard reached 304 as of the end of 2010, the reported, adding that its ASP (Average Selling Price) dropped 54% compared to that at the beginning of 2010. China Telecom stated that the number of terminal developers, suppliers and manufacturers of CDMA-based terminals totaled 270 by year-end 2010, with each having approximately 800 products available in the market, up 50% compared to that in 2009. The number of CDMA terminals available in the Chinese market topped 45.0 million units in 2010, up nearly 50% compared to that in 2009, according to the same source. To date, most of newly-launched mobile phones in 2011 with a price tag of 400 RMB (US$60.7; US$1 = 6.59 RMB) or higher are 3G phones so far. In addition, of the total 3G phones launched in early 2011, mid-range and high-end mobile phones are mainly 3G Smartphones, signifying the rising importance of 3G Smartphones on China Telecom's operations.

Furthermore, China Telecom and Huawei recently also announced that they had jointly completed the test on clock synchronization solution, to be use for the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) 1588v2 packet-based mobile backhaul commercial network supporting CDMA2000 technology for China Telecom, the reported on January 21. The test, led by China Telecom Corporation Limited Beijing Research Institute, used OTN (Optical Transport Network) and MSTP (Multi-Service Transport Platform) solutions supplied by Huawei, helping China Telecom smoothly modernize its 3G network to LTE (Long Term Evolution) by complying with the IEEE 1588v2 standard.
- China Mobile announced on January 20 that the company's subscribers accumulated to 584.0 million as of the end of December 2010, 20.70 million of which were 3G users, the Sohu IT News reported on January 20, adding that China Mobile had an additional of 61.73 million new subscribers in 2010 alone.
In related news, China Mobile is poised to launch its first entry-level TD-SCDMA (Time Division-Synchronous CDMA) Android-operated Smartphones with a price tag round 1,000 RMB (US$151.7), which is expected to hit the market after the Chinese Lunar New Year. With an aim to help the company to enhance its competitiveness in the Smartphone competition in China, this device developed by Chinese RahoTech operates based on Android 2.1, featuring WAPI (WLAN Authentication and Privacy Infrastructure)/Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity) support, a 3.2-inch HD monitor, and a 600 MHz processor.

- China Unicom on January 19 that driven by bullish sales of its high-end 3G phones iPhone and Samsung B7732U, the company subscribers totaled 14.06 million as of December 31, 2010, with new subscriber additions in December 2010 alone amounting to 1.28 million, up 15% compared to that in November, the Sina News reported on January 20. Aside from Apple iPhone, China Unicom has purchased entry-level WCDMA (Wideband CDMA) phones worth five million RMB (US$758,725) from several branded mobile phone vendors in January 2011. Branded vendors include Nokia, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, LG, ZTE, and Huawei, with subsidy plans provided. In addition, company currently has a total of 400 3G mobile phones available in the market as of early December 2010 and has shouldered a more than 50% share in China's 3G mobile phone market.