The Chinese government issued 3G licenses to the country’s top three telecom operators in January 2009.
China Mobile Ltd, the country’s largest telecom operator, was authorized to offer 3G services based on the home-grown TD-SCDMA standard. This was not an offer China Mobile would have welcomed with open arms as that was totally new standards and China Mobile were effectively starting from scratch.China Telecom runs 3G services based on the US-developed CDMA2000 standard which is fully mature.
China Unicom launched 3G services based on Europe’s WCDMA standards.
The three telecom operators have invested a total of $23.56 billion in the 3G network in the past year, and built 325,000 base stations during the period.
The state-owned Chinese telecom operators tend to be more generous in making investments, and investment in upgrading and expanding the network would hit $41 billion over the next two years, said the report.
China Knowledge reported that by the end of last November, China had 13.07 million 3G service users and the number is expected to exceed 15 million at the end of 2009, said MII.