Chinese cable firms win key victory over telcos

Robert Clark
02 Jul 2010

China’s cable operators have won a critical victory in their decade-long turf war with telcos, winning the right to offer trial voice and data services.

Under the plans for the first “three-network integration” trials, telecom operators will not be able to offer IPTV services.

China’s State Council Information Office (SCIO) announced Thursday that the first trials will be held in Beijing, Shanghai, Harbin, Shenzhen, Dalian, Wuhan, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Qingdao, Xiamen, Mianyang and the Changsha-Zhuzhou district in Hunan.

The much-delayed announcement did not give details on the content of the trials or the timetable.

It follows months of negotiations between broadcast regulator SARFT and telecom and ministry MIIT after the State Council, China’s executive body, announced in January that it aimed to bring about full convergence by 2015.

“Three-network convergence” – referring to cable, telecom and internet – has been on the agenda in China since the release of the tenth five-year plan in October 2000.

However, the two key agencies have been continually unable to make a deal, compounded by the complexity of China’s labyrinthine system of media and internet regulation, involving as many as 14 government departments.

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