Update: 11/18/2008 The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology’s (MIIT) Telecommunications Administration Bureau and related departments issued a draft document for review suggesting that issuance of TD-SCDMA, WCDMA, and CDMA2000 3G licenses to domestic operators could be completed by years end.
iPhonAsia comment: iPhonAsia is of the opinion (pure speculation) that Apple’s TBA carrier deals in PRC are non-exclusive. The first deal will be with China Mobile for a customized TD iPhone 3G. Deal number 2 will be a more standard iPhone 3G through China Unicom. The preceding and foregoing are guesswork Details > HERE
The government will accelerate the process of awarding the licenses as spending on the construction of third-generation mobile-phone networks will boost the economy, Chang said at the Mobile Asia Congress conference in Macau today.
China is reorganizing its phone industry and plans to grant three 3G licenses to domestic carriers thereafter, a plan that Morgan Stanley said may be delayed to next year. Unicom plans to invest 100 billion yuan ($14.6 billion) in 2009 and 2010 to expand networks and offer 3G services to challenge market leader China Mobile Ltd.
The government revamp of the telecommunications industry is “largely completed,” Chang said.
Under the industry reorganization plan, Beijing-based China Unicomacquired China Netcom Group Corp. last month in a stock- only transaction, after selling the smaller of its two mobile- phone units toChina Telecom Corp.
China United Telecommunications Corp. and China Network Communications Group Corp., Unicom’s two biggest shareholders, plan to combine by January, the latest of the transactions under the reorganization.
Unicom may start 3G services as early as the third quarter next year if licenses are issued by the end of 2008, Chang said in August.
The government may push back the issuance of 3G licenses to the first half of 2009 to allow more time for the development of a home-grown wireless technology, Yvonne Chow, a Morgan Stanley analyst in Hong Kong, wrote in an Oct. 2 report.