China urges intensified investment in 3G

Dylan Bushell-Embling
07 Jan 2010

The Chinese government has urged the nation's operators to speed up the deployment of 3G, as well as the development of the homegrown TD-SCDMA air interface.

In a meeting with the country's main 3G operators – China Telecom, China Unicom and China Mobile – as well as vendor Datang Telecom, Vice premier Zhang Deijang also called for enhanced information security management and a strengthened TD-SCDMA supply chain, Xinhua News reported.

He asked for a commitment to developing TD-SCDMA from each operator – even those deploying rival 3G technologies – in a move to strengthen the technology's standing on the world stage.

Zhang added that 3G technology had the potential to revolutionize China's economic development, modernize traditional industries and boost the development of technology-based markets.

The operators have already invested 160.9 billion yuan ($23.6 billion) to deploy 325,000 3G base stations in the major cities, Zhang said.

The TD-SCDMA standard is currently being deployed by just China Mobile, with China Telecom deploying cdma2000 and China Unicom rolling out W-CDMA.

Meanwhile, China Mobile announced it had reached its revised year-end target of 5 million 3G subscribers, but had fallen far short of its initial goal of 10 million 3G subscribers by the end of 2009. The company hopes to increase its 3G customer base by 30 million in 2010.

Analysts expect China's 3G market to be worth 7.4 billion yuan in 2010 – quadruple its value in 2009 – as the number of 3G users grows sixfold.

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