It was a week of price-fixing allegations for Chinese telcos, while PCCW made plans for its IPO and Taiwan accelerated its 4G spectrum timetable.
The antitrust division of China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) revealed this week that it was investigating the country’s two fixed-line operators, China Telecom and China Unicom, over alleged price fixing in the broadband access market.
Both China Telecom and China Unicom said they are cooperating with the investigation. If they’re found guilty of anti-trust activity, they face penalties of up to 10% of their annual revenues from internet access services.
The revelations came just a day after China Telecom revealed plans to sell mobile services in the US under its own brand, initially as an MVNO, targeting Chinese expats and students, as well as frequent travellers between the two countries.
The anti-trust announcement also emerged just as Alcatel-Lucent announced it was chosen by Unicom as the lead supplier in a major FTTH deployment. Alca-Lu will supply GPON FTTH equipment to Unicom in 29 provinces for consumer broadband services.
It was also the week where Huawei Technologies firmly rejected claims that it supplied equipment to aid in internet monitoring and web censorship in Iran.
Huawei was responding to (but did not name) a report in the Wall Street Journal last month, which claims that the vendor “plays a role in enabling Iran's state security network” and pitched for a contract to build a mobile news delivery platform based on alleged experience censoring news for the Chinese government.
In other news for the week, PCCW launched its global IPO of 32% of Hong Kong Telecommunications Limited (HKT).
PCCW expects to raise up to HK$11 billion ($1.41 billion) from the spinoff of its telecom operations into a listed business trust. Credit ratings agency Moody's said the offer would allow PCCW cut its net debt by around $1.5 billion if the listing proceeds as planned.