Chinese authorities have halted a fixed wireless voice service offered by Tietong using China Mobile’s TD-SCDMA network.
The Ministry for Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has told Tietong, a fully-owned subsidiary of China Mobile, that the TD network cannot be used for fixed-line services, according to Chinese media reports.
Tietong, previously an independent carrier operating the fiber networks built by the Ministry of Railways, became a division of China Mobile early this year.
The service appears to be an effort by China Mobile at leveraging its two biggest under-used assets, the TD-SCDMA network and Tietong.
However, the MIIT has said only a handset with a TD chipset and with an 11-digit mobile number can offer a service over a TD-SCDMA network, sina.com reported.
Some reports have likened the Tietong TD service to Xiaolingtong, the PHS-based wireless service offered by fixed-line operators that has been tolerated by regulators because it provides a low-cost voice service.
The carriers racked up as nearly 100 million Xiaolingtong customers by the middle of the decade before cellular prices came down. The government has ordered the closure of Xiaolingtong by the end of next year.
At the end of September China Mobile’s 3G subs accounted for just 15 million of its 570 million customers.