Well-timed: Asia forum has our attention

21 May 2007

The timing of BBWF Asia in Beijing is sweet.

After several years of glacial pace of reform, the Chinese industry is on the move following recent decisions on 3G. That means interest will be keener than usual in the keynote speakers from China Netcom, chairman Zhang Chungjiang and CEO Zuo Xunsheng.

And not just about IPTV, the issue of burning concern for forum attendees. That's still in trial phase, although between them Netcom and rival China Telecom have signed up more than 300,000 customers.

In any case, all industry paths lead to broadband today. There'll be plenty wanting to know about Netcom's views on the other side of broadband, namely 3G. As the Chinese industry restructures for 3G, one theory being bruited about is that one of the cable players will be invited to take a 3G license, and thus break the bottleneck between telecom and cable. We'll see.

Other standouts include PCCW's Alex Arena and Paul Berriman, who drive the company's broadband strategy, and Jin Yang, the director of Motorola's Broadband Wireless Research Center, who'll be holding forth on Wimax - another technology whose fate in China is unclear. With the world awash in private equity, the VC session also looks worth looking in on.

By CommsChina -- Robert Clark

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