Posts Tagged ‘WCDMA’


China Unicom CEO Chang Xiaobing

China Unicom CEO Chang Xiaobing

According to reports in China’s tech media, China Unicom will target growth in 3G subscribers at 20 to 30 million in the 12 months following the new 3G WCDMA network launch (trial launch began on May 17, 2009). China Unicom’s new WCDMA 3G network currently operates at 7.2Mbps but the network can support speeds of up to 14.4Mbps. That’s much faster that 2G and significantly faster than AT&T’s 3G speeds in the US, which top out at 7.2Mbps.

163.com is quoting China Unicom Vice President Zhang Jun’an (June 2nd): Unicom will need to procure more than 30 million 3G handsets as people will need to replace 2G handsets.”

iphone-china-unicom-111To help spur interest in WCDMA, and 3G handsets, China Unicom made a “consumer friendly” move by canceling roaming charges and ending their national (long distance) calling charges. This move, announced earlier this week, has been widely applauded by China Unicom subscribers. China Unicom has also unveiled new 3G rate plans for low, middle and high-end consumers. 

iPhonAsia is expecting the formal Apple/China Unicom deal announcement within weeks if not days (WWDC Keynote or a “special event” soon thereafter). Likely launch date? Mid-July or later this summer.

Picture 3iPhonAsia believes that Apple has arranged to sell a large quantity of new model iPhones (special production run for China) to China Unicom’s Vsens.com division. It was no coincidence that Yu Yingtao, head of China Unicom’s handset management center and its procurement subsidiary (Vsens.com) was a key member of the China Unicom delegation that met with Apple in Cupertino March 8th through the 18th. Much more on these negotiations > HERE

How many current and new China Unicom customers will upgrade their handsets to an official iPhone? Inquiring minds want to know … Get that crystal ball out and make your predictions.


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China Unicom began commercial trials of its WCDMA 3G network in 55 Chinese cities on May 17. By year-end China Unicom plans to expand 3G coverage to 284 cities. Read more details on the China Unicom launch via JLM Pacific Epoch (<link)

iphone-china-unicom-11Many had surmised that an “official” iPhone China could be announced on May 17 (World Telecom Day and China Unicom’s 3G launch), but iPhone was not on the day’s agenda and China Unicom executives had no details to share over the much rumored iPhone distribution deal. While this was disappointing to some, iPhonAsia is confident that an official iPhone in China deal announcement will be forthcoming in a matter of weeks.

Now that May 17 has been crossed off the “dates to watch” list, the calendar watch turns to:

  • Monday, June 8 – WWDC Keynote, a logical venue for iPhone hardware unveilings and the “China deal” announcement.
  • munster_gene.standardLate June or early July – Piper Jaffray’s analyst Gene Munster suggested timeframe for new iPhone hardware unveiling. Munster speculates that Apple may host a special event to showcase the new iPhone 3.0. This might also be the right moment to announce the iPhone in China deal. If Munster’s timeline is correct, then Steve Jobs might very well be on stage to greet some special guests from China. 

For readers looking for a succinct overview, Philip Elmer De-Witt has a good summary of the impending iPhone in China deal on Apple 2.0. For more in depth background, read > Apple’s iPhone in China Negotiations.

One other item to note… iPhone Asia continues to read reports in the press that claim Apple has declared that iPhone won’t arrive officially in China until 2010. These reports are simply wrong and reflect lazy journalism. Read the facts > HERE

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Update – 03/27/09: China Unicom executive mgmt in Beijing have now “explained things” to the Shanghai subsidiary. The flashy iPhone images and special page used to promote 3G services are now no where to be found on the Shanghai Unicom website.  This is no surprise as the over eager Shanghai subsidiary was a mite early in their promotion. Read more > HERE

China Unicom Promoting 3G services and iPhone

For those that have not heard the news, China Unicom’s Shanghai subsidiary is now promoting iPhone 3G and their new WCDMA network on their website. The Shanghai subsidiary website is careful to never say that Apple and China Unicom have reached an iPhone deal (iPhonAsia does not expect any official announcement until May 17) but the parent corp and Apple might have preferred a bit more discretion.  

Here is the page on the China Unicom site promoting iPhone 3G services, that might be available soon, including:

  • Wave-to-pay
  • Mobile TV (CCTV has been heavily promoting this in China)
  • Tethering
  • Video Conferencing

Of particular interest is the wave-to-pay promotion. Untold millions of Chinese commute to work via trains, subways and ferries. Any device that can simplify daily e-commerce would be a major value-add. Here’s my attempt to translate (from Mandarin) the China Unicom webpage:

China Unicom promoting wave-to-pay on iPhone

China Unicom promoting wave-to-pay on iPhone

“Near-Field-Communication (NFC) swipe card handset a.k.a. “wave-to-pay,” offers convenience for those who use public transportation. It’s possible to use a handset swipe card to buy a ticket. This wave-to-pay has replaced the former public transportation IC card. Using the swipe card handset for shopping eliminates the needs to carrying cash. Using wave-to-pay also makes it easy to pay in the ferry terminal. Through the swipe card, the handset (phone) can purchase your passage and avoid the worry of lining up to purchase tickets. Not only does this technology eliminate the need to carry a public transportation IC card, you don’t even need a bankcard. All you need is the wave-to-pay handset (phone), to buy a ticket and do your shopping. One machine in the hand, opens access, and gives you control. Wave-to-pay makes life more convenient.”


Here’s Google’s > translation 


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apple_unicom2iPhonAsia Comment: On March 8 iPhonAsia reported on a rumored Apple/China Unicom summit that began the week of March 9. Details > HERE. This meeting has now been confirmed by a China telecommunications industry insider. As reported in the

China Unicom Executive Director Gang Li

China Unicom Exec. Director Gang Li

article below and through several China news services, a China Unicom executive contingency, led by Executive Director of Mobile Communications Gang Li, and Yu Yingtao, head of China Unicom’s handset management center and its procurement subsidiary Vsens.com, arrived in San Jose on March 8th. The objective of this summit was to take iPhone negotiations to a serious level. As outlined in a March 8 iPhonAsia post, the negotiation points likely included (some may have been resolved before March 8):

  • The issue of a subsidy payment from China Unicom to Apple for each “on contract” iPhone.
  • Whether Apple will agree to disable WiFi on iPhone in China. WiFi on mobile handsets does not conform to China’s WAPI standard of security
  • Exclusivity. Whether China Unicom will have exclusive selling rights in PRC.
  • Whether Apple will agree to pre-load iPhone with applications popular in China (e.g. Youku vs Youtube).
Gang Li

Gang Li

A report via ccw.com.cn (< details in Mandarin 传联通就引入iPhone达成协议) indicates that the China Unicom delegation remained in discussions for a full two weeks.  We hope they had time over the weekend to do a little sightseeing, particularly with San Francisco, Monterey, Carmel and Pebble Beach so close by. The China Unicom team did not return to Beijing until March 18. It is therefore quite possible that the China Unicom team remained in town for the Apple 3.0 presentation delivered on St Patricks Day (March 17).  This event was held in the Town Hall meeting room at Apple’s Cupertino HQ. Conveniently, there is a conference room upstairs where an executive group might comfortably watch the presentations via closed circuit TV. This discretion might be necessary as the Press was on hand for the 3.0 event and a group of well dressed Chinese gentlemen might cause a few members of the media to make the connection.

The report below, via China Tech News, suggests that an iPhone launch will not happen on May 17 (W-CDMA 3G trial launch day in 55 major cities) but only after more testing. iPhonAsia has previously suggested that May 17 could be a target day for an iPhone in China announcement, with a scheduled launch later in the Summer. We will hold to that prediction. 

China Unicom Says “No Comment” To iPhone Agreement With Apple

picture-1143.20.09 via China Tech News – In response to media reports this week which stated China Unicom has signed an agreement with Apple to introduce Apple’s iPhone into China, a spokesperson from China Unicom says “no comment at the current stage”.

However, according to a China Unicom insider quoted by local media, the two companies’ negotiation about the introduction of iPhone has gained much progress, though the details are not available.

A delegation led by China Unicom’s vice president for mobile communications marketing, Li Gang, went to Apple’s U.S. headquarters for a negotiation on March 8 and the delegation returned to Beijing on March 18.

The insider says the two sides have gained major progress in the negotiation, but they have not reached any agreement. There is one thing for sure: the iPhone handsets will not be launched in China on May 17 when China Unicom is due to launch its first batch of WCDMA mobile phone numbers, because even if the two companies decide to introduce the iPhone into China, the companies still need time to purchase the iPhone handsets and test the compatibility between the handsets and the WCDMA network of China Unicom.


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传苹果iPhone突然牵手联通 与移动谈判破裂


China Unicom CEO Chang Xiaobing

China Unicom CEO Chang Xiaobing



Tech.gansudaily.com.cn is reporting that China Unicom and Apple are now engaged in serious iPhone negotiations and China Unicom Chairman Chang Xiaobing is directly involved. The report states that the apple_unicom2objective is to launch iPhone in China at the end of May. This timeline corresponds to the launch of China Mobile’s W-CDMA 3G network. 

Read the TechGansudaily.com report (in Mandarin) > HERE

传苹果iPhone突然牵手联通 与移动谈判破裂














传苹果iPhone突然牵手联通 与移动谈判破裂


  但在放弃分成模式同时,苹果对中移动提出,每销售一部手机,运营商一次性向苹果补贴600美元,同时必须给用户以购机补贴的方案。此外苹果还提出,用户可自由购买iPhone,使用任何的SIM卡,同时iPhone装载在线软件商店iTunes APP Store,用户则到苹果的软件商店付费购买增值服务。
















本篇新闻热门关键词:通关 会议 风险 



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picture-3421iPhonAsia 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 

picture-14China Unicom, Telefonica Deepen Business Cooperation

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.


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China Unicom Will Open W-CDMA Network On May 17, 2009

picture-13China Unicom NetcomChinese telecommunications operator China Unicom has announced its development schedule for 3G — the company will put forward a WCDMAequipment tender in January 2009, start network construction in February and formally open the network on May 17.

While continuing to work through its merger with China Netcom, China Unicom has been busy preparing for the coming of the 3G age since the second half of 2008. It has already started construction of WCDMA trial networks and launched the technology tender for the equipment tender of WCDMA commercial networks.

According to the plans of China Unicom, the interoperability between 2G and 3G will mainly focus on the voice switching in the initial stage of network construction while in the middle and late stages the value-added service switching will become the focus.

China Unicom, along with China Mobile and China Telecom, just gained its 3G license for WCDMA operation on January 7, 2009.


iPhonAisa hint … Two iPhone deals in China and China Unicom will be one of the key deals. More > HERE




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