Update: May 24, 2008: In a statement released Saturday, China ministries are now formally acknowledging that a restructuring of the China telecommunications industry is underway. Perhaps most relevant to iPhonAsia readers is the confirmation that China aims (no official date yet) to issue three (3) licenses for its third generation mobile phone technology (3G) following an industry reorganization beginning Friday. The three 3G licenses will be for TD-SCDMA, W-CDMA and CDMA2000. Other than TD-SCDMA to China Mobile, there has been no official word as to which newly restructured carriers will win rights to W-CDMA and CDMA2000.
Here area few key excerpts from the joint statement issued Saturday by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the National Development and Reform Commission, and the Ministry of Finance:
“Three 3G licenses will be issued to help create three competitive phone companies that have telecom resources nationwide, near equal strength and scale, and can offer both mobile and fixed-line services”…
“Based on the current situation of the telecom industry, we encourage China Telecom to buy China Unicom’s code-division multiple access (CDMA) network and China Unicom to incorporate with China Netcom”…
“We encourage China Telecom to combine the basic telecom services unit of China Satcom and China Mobile Communications Corp (CMCC) to take control of China Tietong Telecommunications Corp.”
There is also some news related to the China telecom industry executive reshuffling. Previous reports had stated that China Mobile’s Chairman and President Wang Jianzhou would retire. Not so according to the most recent reports. Wang Jianzhou will apparently remain in place while Zhang Chunjiang, general manager of China Netcom, will be named vice president of China Mobile. In other moves, Wang Xiaochu, the chairman of China Telecom, will retain his position while Chang Xiaobing, chairman of China Unicom, will be placed in charge of the working committee organizing the new China Unicom.
Wall Street Journal report > HERE
Reuters has a more detailed report on China’s telecom restructuring > HERE
For more details on China’s telecom industry executive reshuffle see Lisa Tang’s Asia -Europe Business > HERE
See also …
|China Begins Telecom Overhaul – WSJ.com: What’s News Asia [05/23/2008]|
|China Begins Telecom Overhaul – WSJ.com: What’s News Technology [05/23/2008]|
|China begins revamp of telecom industry – Report On Business [9 hours ago]|
|China Unveils Telecom Sector Revamp Plan – Morningstar.com [7 hours ago]|
|Telecoms industry restructuring gets into gear – CCTV [6 hours ago]|
|China to issue 3G licenses after restructure – SINA [4 hours ago]|
Update: May 22, 2008: Apologies to the iPhonAsia visitors who read this post yesterday afternoon believing it was breaking news. This 3G story appeared “undated” on a news service and after more careful detective work, I found that this report was based on a May 2007 MII release. All information in the article remains true and relevant (hence I will keep it posted), but the key is the issuance of 3G licenses. While the China Ministry of Information Industry has officially approved three 3G standards (as the article below accurately describes), China can drag the process out by holding on to the 3G licenses. The fear is that China will give every advantage to the “China built” TD-SCDMA and delay issuance of licenses for W-CDMA and CDMA2000. China MII has said they will not do this as they desire true competition in wireless (**rolls eyes with a high degree of skepticism**) W-CDMA and CDMA2000 will have their day (licenses) in China and I believe the MII will act in the latter half of 2008. Several very powerful companies in China are losing money as a result of the government’s “indigenous innovation” policies and TD-SCDMA’s slow boat to nowhere has been particularly costly. I have read a number of recent articles quoting anonymous sources inside China’s telecom industry, who are not happy about the government’s TD-SCDMA push.
iPhonAsia Editor Comment: The MII announcement helps clear the path (TD-SCDMA as the sole 3G protocol is no longer an issue) for next gen iPhone in China. Now we need to learn which China carrier(s) will win rights W-CDMA. My prediction is that both China Telecom and China Mobile will be granted a W-CDMA 3G license.
See recent (May) iPhonAsia posts on this topic:
Top Story: China adds WCDMA and CDMA2000 to 3G mobile standards to be used in China
EXCERPT: China’s Ministry of Information Industry (MII) approved Wednesday the use of European and American standards for 3G mobile phones that are rivals to China’s homegrown TD-SCDMA, placing equipment vendors such as Huawei, ZTE and Ericsson closer to receiving contracts worth as much as $20 billion. Huawei makes wireless equipment based on WCDMA and CDMA2000.
China’s homegrown TD-SCDMA has been called the “Chinese 3G standard”, WCDMA is European and CDMA2000 is American. “The three world standards will all be used in China,” said Yang Peifang, secretary general of the ministry’s telecommunication economist panel.
By adding the two foreign standards to the Chinese market, the government has consolidated its “technology neutral” stance and offered an open market for different technologies.
Full article > HERE