China Unicom is rumored to be looking to attract 50 million new 3G subscribers this year, and has started a marketing push to reach its goal.
The company has started localized 3G marketing at two of its branches and is preparing new 3G services to help it meet its ambitious targets, a source within the company's marketing division told Marbridge Consulting.
But Unicom, which signed up a consistent 1 million subscribers per month from May to November 2010, would need to more than quadruple this rate of additions to do so.
Unicom had 11.6 million 3G subscribers as of the end of October, according to MIIT figures. This places it second among the three main operators, behind China Mobile (16.9 million) but ahead of China Telecom (10 million).
More sources have said that as part of its drive, China Unicom has started selling the 5 million low-cost 3G handsets it acquired through a central procurement process.
The phones include models from Nokia, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, LG, ZTE and Huawei.