Unicom joins 3G price war

Nicole McCormick
14 Jan 2010

Adding to China’s 3G price war, China Unicom said it plans to slash the tariffs of its three-month-old W-CDMA service.

From February 1 it will offer packages for as little as 36 yuan ($5.27) for 300MB of data and 50 minutes of voice calls a month.

Another new plan for 56 yuan a month will offer 30MB of data, 78 texts, 10 video calls and 200 voice minutes.

Unicom launched its 3G service on October 1 with monthly packages of 150 yuan, 200 yuan and 300 yuan. The 150 yuan monthly offer includes 3GB of data.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), China’s 3G customers totaled 10 million in December.

Industry leader China Mobile has been marketing its TD-SCDMA service with lavish handset subsidies. It claimed 5.5 million 3G users at the end of December.

Unicom had around 3 million WCDMA users. In November, Unicom added more 3G customers than 2G users thanks to its October 30 launch of Apple’s iPhone.

Meanwhile, China Mobile CEO Wang Jianzhou said that the company will wrap up its three-year TD-SCDMA network rollout plan a year ahead of schedule.

China Mobile has deployed 87,000 base stations, with another 70,000 due to come on line by end-2010 rather than by end-2011 as originally planned.

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