Posts Tagged ‘CDMA2000’

China Telecom Bundles Free Internet 3G Subscription Plans

The South China Morning Post is reporting that China Telecom Corp Ltd, through its Beijing subsidiary (Beijing Telecom), will offer free mobile Internet usage to mobile subscribers who sign up before Jul. 30th. China Telecom will also reduce local call fees (now between RMB 0.11 and RMB 0.19), down 72% for subscribers to new monthly packages – between RMB 49 and RMB 189.

China Telecom’s “free” mobile Internet and reduced call rates are clearly designed to boost 3G services consumption and gain more market share. China Telecom’s 3G network has a coverage rate of more than 98% in urban areas in Beijing.

According to a source quoted in the SCMP, China Telecom’s CDMA2000 3G network rollout will proceed rapidly in Beijing and Guangdong. China Telecom is aiming to introduce its upgraded 3G service in Beijing and Guangdong as early as this month.

Now the 64 million yuan question … Will Apple develop a CDMA2000 3G (EV-DO) iPhone for China Telecom and go after the relatively affluent urban Netizens that China Telecom is targeting through their new bundled data/call plans in Beijing and new eSurfing plans in Shanghai? 



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iPhonAsia comment: Cindy Geng of Interfax has provided timely reports on the iPhone in China negotiations. See iPhonAsia reply to post below

cindygeng_s1by Cindy Geng

Beijing. March 6. INTERFAX-CHINA –

EXCERPT: The chairman of China Unicom has confirmed that the operator is holding talks with Apple over officially introducing the iPhone to China, while rival operator China Mobile has also claimed its iPhone negotiations with Apple are still underway. Chang Xiaobing, chairman of China Unicom, said on March 4 that the result of China Unicom’s talks with Apple will be announced on May 17, although he refused to reveal any details of what kind of deal the talks entail.

However, Wang Jianzhou, president of China Mobile, said on March 5 that his company is still in talks with Apple over releasing the iPhone. “We hope the iPhone can be used in China Mobile’s network, and Apple has demonstrated its will,” Wang said. Read full post > HERE

Comments (Total 1 comments)

picture-15Mon 09 Mar 2009 05:35

Great reporting Cindy! Thanks.

According to my tea leaf readings (i.e. total guesswork), Apple may have two China carrier deals to announce in the coming weeks or months…

1) The well publicized deal with China Unicom 

2) Another with “Cinderella” otherwise known as China Telecom (Yes, a CDMA2000 EV-DO iPhone). Many have dismissed the possibility of an Apple and China Telecom alliance. I do not. China Telecom, has a mere 28 million wireless subscribers (primarily in Southern provinces). This is a small number when compared to China Mobile (463 million) and China Unicom (134 million). So what might entice Apple to do a deal with China Telecom? How about 40 million relatively affluent broadband subscribers, 210 million landline subscribers, and a brand new WiFi for mobile service – eSurfing! The new eSurfing service plan is available to PCs, Macs and mobile phones. China Telecom has also kicked off an array of eSurfing promotions under which subscribers to the wireless broadband monthly plans and the voice service (under eSurfing) are entitled to 300-minutes of talk time each month at no charge. Combining CDMA2000 3G and WiFi is part of China Telecom’s core strategy.

What about Apple’s ongoing “cooperation talks” with China Mobile? A deal with China Mobile could still could happen, but TD-SCDMA network issues remain problematic. I believe that Apple has gone to great lengths, including dedicating engineering resources to TD-SCDMA and possibly some design/build efforts. However, China Mobile may have too clearly telegraphed their “rapidly as possible” move to TD LTE 4G … which gives any spend on TD-SCDMA handsets a limited life span (2 years or so). There is also the issue of network reliability. TD-SCDMA is a nascent network with usability challenges (to put it politely) and Apple wants to start off any official launch in China with a very positive enduser experience. Apple knows that network issues can undeservedly tarnish the reputation of the mobile handset. In fact, China Mobile has blamed many of the early problems with TD-SCDMA on handsets.

Bottom line… unless China Mobile were to commit to a substantial pre-purchase for inventory of a special TD-SCDMA iPhone (TD iPhone 3G), then Apple would be reluctant to move forward with TD-SCDMA. I believe the TD-SCDMA issue is at least as pertinent as any debate over who controls value added services and the App Store.

Another long shot possibility is that Apple could launch an EDGE 2.5 iPhone Nano with China Mobile that would not carry any TD-SCDMA concerns. There are many interesting possibilities. 

~ Dan Butterfield, iPhonAsia

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Update – March 23, 2009: Based on recent progress in Apple and China Unicom negotiations, it appears more likely that Apple will grant a 3G exclusive to China Unicom. Much more > HERE

China Telecom has also now engaged with Microsoft on a search deal and is rumored to be in discussions with Research in Motion on a Blackberry deal, although both China Telecom and RIM have denied that a deal has been concluded. 

iPhonAsia comment: Will China Telecom play Cinderella and be invited to the iPhone Ball? The two step sisters – China Mobile and China Unicom have been getting all of the attention in the “iPhone cinderellain China” drama. After all, these two carriers have the right wireless pedigree and they have subscribers… lots of subscribers! China Mobile has 458 million and China Unicom has 135 million. And poor Cinderella, China Telecom, has a mere 28 million wireless subscribers (primarily in Southern provinces). So what could China Telecom offer the princely Apple? How about 40 million relatively affluent broadband subscribers, 210 million landline subscribers, and a brand new WiFi for mobile service – eSurfing! The new eSurfing service plan is available to PCs, Macs and mobile phones. China Telecom has also kicked off an array of eSurfing promotions under which subscribers to the wireless broadband monthly plans and the voice service (under eSurfing) are entitled to 300-minutes of talk time each month at no charge. Combining CDMA2000 3G and WiFi is part of China Telecom’s core strategy. 

china-telecom4Should Apple choose to slip the glass slipper on China Telecom’s dainty foot, strong WiFi capability may be one of the key decision points. By the end of 2009 China Telecom will establish 25,000 eSurfing Wi-Fi hot spots nationwide and about 3,000 of these spots are going to be in Shanghai, an iPhone hotbed.  

xin_260503241009490215842But no romance is without its challenges. If the relationship is to be, Apple will have some technical issues to resolve, including 3G compatibility and meeting China’s WAPI WiFi standards (China’s WAPI = Wide Authentication and Privacy Infrastructure, or GB15629.11-2003 national standard differs from international WiFi standards). 

China Telecom CEO Wang Xiaochu

China Telecom CEO Wang Xiaochu

China Telecom is the proud owner of a new CDMA2000 3G license. The current model iPhone supports W-CDMA 3G (a world standard 3G network currently being built out by China Unicom) but does not support China Mobile’s “indigenously innovated” TD-SCDMA 3G nor China Telecom’s CDMA2000 3G.  

Would Apple consider building a CDMA2000 (EV-DO) ready iPhone?  The crystal ball says; “prospects look favorable.” Apple has been scouting out EV-DO and CDMA Engineers for months in their online iPhone job postings. And oh, by the way … a CDMA2000 (EV-DO) ready iPhone model for China Telecom would likely run on Verizon’s network in the U.S. Hmmm? Another post for another day.

cinderella-mini-glass-slipper-replicaapple_unicomTake heart China Mobile and China Unicom … The dance floor is spacious and it wouldn’t be a Ball with only one princess on the dance card … In fact, rumor has it that China Unicom is now (or very soon will be) in Cupertino trying on the glass slipper.  picture-12



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Government announces further support for TD-SCDMA

danwei_s1by Zhang Danwei

Shanghai. January 23. INTERFAX-CHINA –

picture-115The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) announced measures to bolster the development of the country’s homegrown 3G standard, TD-SCDMA, on Jan. 22.

As well as earmarking funds specifically for the development of TD-SCDMA, the government will allow companies engaged in TD-SCDMA network construction to access existing government funds for the electronics and hi-tech industries, MIIT said.

tdscdma-logoThe government will aim to favor TD-SCDMA technology over alternatives in government procurements, and will encourage the use of the standard in e-government, wireless city, rural informatization and e-business projects.

China TelecommunicationsMIIT also said that the approval process for TD-SCDMA projects will be accelerated, and that it will support TD-SCDMA network construction through measures such as ensuring good locations and power supplies for base stations. MIIT will prioritize the granting of network access licenses to TD-SCDMA handsets, and provide specialists to support TD-SCDMA terminal manufacturers.

Owners of networks that refuse to share infrastructure with the TD-SCDMA network where it is deemed necessary will face punishment, MIIT said.

In 2009, the government will draft 25 standards for the upgrade of TD-SCDMA to the 3.5G HSUPA technology, while research will be conducted into the 4G TD-LTE standard.

With the release of the 3G licenses and the new round of 3G network construction, TD-SCDMA will have to face challenges from WCDMA and CDMA2000, MIIT said. This is because, by the end of 2009, all three telecom operators will have their own 3G network with similar coverage.

According to MIIT, a total of RMB 170 billion ($24.86 billion) will be invested in 3G infrastructure construction in 2009. China Mobile will invest RMB 58.8 billion ($8.6 billion) to construct about 60,000 TD-SCDMA base stations, and will cover 238 cities with TD-SCDMA services by the year-end. China Telecom will initially invest about RMB 30 billion ($4.39 billion) to bring CDMA2000 services to 100 cities by the end of March. China Unicom will also initially invest about RMB 30 billion ($4.39 billion), with 55 cities due to have commercial WCDMA trial services in the first half of the year, and 282 cities to have full commercial WCDMA services by the year-end.

MIIT said that it expects a total of RMB 400 billion ($58.5 billion) to be invested in 3G network construction by telecom operators over the next three years and that the entire country will have 3G network coverage by the end of 2011.

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iPhonAsia comment: 3G licenses were “approved” at year’s end (2008) … and now (apparently) they will formally be “issued” … This will unleash about $41 billion (USD) in cap ex to build out 3G network capacity.

3G licenses tipped today for all three

picture-3The mainland telecoms regulator will likely issue licenses for third-generation (3G) mobile services today to all three telecom operators, a senior industry source said.

China Mobile »”>China Mobile(0941) will be issued a 3G license today, mainland news portal Sina.com reported yesterday.

However, the industry source said all three operators will receive 3G licenses on the same day. It would be politically unwise for the government to issue a license to one operator before the other two, the source said.

China Telecom, which is getting a license based on the US-developed CDMA2000 technology, will likely be the fastest to launch 3G services, the source said. China Telecom will start operating 3G services in the affluent coastal provinces and some first-tier cities in less than a month, according to the source. China Telecom could then fine-tune its offerings before launching 3G services nationwide, probably in about three months.

China Unicom, which will offer services based on the European-backed WCDMA technology, will likely take more than a year before it can launch nationwide 3G services, according to the source. Unicom may be able to launch services in a few select cities after six months, the source said.

China Mobile has a headstart, having run a test network for two years based on homegrown TD-SCDMA.

China Unicom shares fell 5.3 percent to HK$10.28 yesterday as investors locked in recent gains. China Mobile fell 2.4 percent to HK$83.

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Thomson Financial News

China approves issue of 3G mobile phone licenses – cabinet

thompson12.31.08, 04:27 AM ESTBEIJING (XFN-ASIA) – China’s State Council, or cabinet, said it has approved the issuance of third generation mobile phone licenses.


Li Yizhong - MIIT

Li Yizhong - MIIT

The cabinet said in a statement on the government website that the 3G licenses will be issued for networks using the domestically developed TD-SCDMA technology as well as WCDMA and CDMA2000.


It said that the long-awaited decision was made following a regular cabinet meeting chaired by Premier Wen Jiabao. The move reflected the fact that the nation’s major telecommunication firms have basically completed their restructuring programs, according to the statement.

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   China Unicom to test W-CDMA 3G network in seven cities

picture-115Chang Xiaobing, chairman and CEO of China Unicom, has stated that he expected the Chinese government to speed up the issuing of 3G licenses. Once a W-CDMA (UMTS), one of the international 3G standards, license is issued to China Unicom, they will start testing their 3G network in seven Chinese cities by the end of this year, Beijing Times reported.

Yesterday, a source from China Unicom said that the company will set up trial W-CDMA networks in seven Chinese cities, including Shanghai, Shenzhen, Foshan, Liuzhou, Zhengzhou, Baoding and Wuxi, with about 100 W-CDMA base stations in each city. Meanwhile, Shanghai Unicom, Shenzhen Unicom and Wuxi Unicom were reported to have already begun works on the trial W-CDMA networks and base stations. Read the rest of this entry »


 3G licensing to be unveiled soon

The Chinese government is currently studying the modalities of the 3G licensing policy along with ways to implement it and is likely to announce the policy soon, said China’s vice minister of Industry and Information Technology Xi Guohua.

Speaking at the China Mobility International Summit in Beijing today, Xi said the time is now ripe for China to issue 3G mobile licenses. Read the rest of this entry »

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