In the wake of the launch of a tender offer for 20 million of WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network) equipment in August 2010, China Unicom recently revealed that the company began a new tender offer for WLAN equipment, the chinabyte.com reported. It is learnt that China Unicom currently has been assembling related equipment suppliers for the early preparations of the tender offer. Further details regarding the tender amount and the location where the equipment will be deployed were not yet disclosed. Unlike the previous tender offer, China Unicom set separate requirements for 802.11a/b/g and 802.11n equipment, indicating that the company might plan to deploy a wireless city based on 802.11n technology, according to the same source.
In 2010, China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Telecom floated their respective tender offers to purchase 370,000, 200,000 and 40,000 units of WLAN equipment, respectively. By the end of 2010, the number of WLAN hotspots deployed by three leading Chinese telecom operators totaled 176,000, 35,000 of which were deployed by China Mobile, according again to the chinabyte.com. At the beginning of 2011, China Mobile’s CEO Wang Jianzhou declared that the company would increase the number of its Wi-Fi (Wireless-Fidelity) hotspots to one million units within the next three years. Meanwhile, China Telecom is reportedly to float a similar tender offer soon.