Page Two

By Mark Berniker  |  Posted 2004-04-28 Print this article Print

Even after MII ultimately extends licenses it could be at least another eight or nine months before the services are up and running, making it unlikely 3G will begin widespread deployment until 2006. Another drag on 3G development in China is the fact that China Mobile, China Unicom and other vendors are generating substantial revenue from their 2.5G voice traffic. "It isnt in their interest for 3G services to be deployed right away," said Xie Linzhen, vice president of China Mobile Communication Association (CMCA) and a standing member of the Science & Technology Committee of MII.
As a result of the disastrous 3G auction process in Europe, which has ultimately stymied the growth of the market, Linzhen said the "Chinese government is going to be more careful in building the 3G system in China. There are many problems that remain to be solved."
But Xie said that while there are technical issues that still need to be ironed out, the potential for advanced wireless services in China is immense. Currently, there are 286 million Chinese wireless subscribers—only about 21 percent of the potential market, according to CMCA. Linzhen said there is widespread use in the major western cities, especially Beijing and Shanghai, but there is still tremendous potential for growth in Chinas next top ten cities. The CMCA says about 7 million wireless subscribers are being added every month. China is emerging as a force to be reckoned with when it comes to manufacturing digital products. Click here to read a report from CIO Insight. The bulk of Chinese subscribers—close to 265 million—are on the GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) standard, but 21 million use CDMA, and that is expected to grow dramatically in the future. Check out eWEEKs Mobile & Wireless Center at for the latest news, reviews and analysis.
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