iPhonAsia comment: China Unicom is scheduled to kick off its WCDMA 3G services in seven major Chinese cities on May 17, 2009. Telefonica and Apple are distributing iPhone in Spain. More on Apple and China Unicom rumors > HERE
China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd. and Telefonica de Espana have inked a framework agreement on 3G business cooperation, confirmed persons from the newly-incorporated Chinese telecom operator.
The move aims to deepen their cooperation on mobile telecommunications,WCDMA-based 3G service, broadband application, international business, marketing, technology R&D, procurement, and telecom service for enterprise clients.
Earlier, the two parties had joined hands on equipment procurement, international roaming, and technology R&D. In 2005, Telefonica de Espana spent EUR 240 million buying a 2.99% stake in former China Netcom Group Corporation (Hong Kong) Limited (SEHK: 0906, NYSE: CN), which got delisted from the stock exchanges on October 15, 2008 due to its scheduled merger with China Unicom.
Having a 5.38% stake in China Unicom at the moment, the Spanish telecom carrier will be likely to lift up its holdings to 9.9% in future.