China Mobile on Monday called for a third round of tenders for third generation (3G) telecom equipment worth US$1.3 billion, the South China Morning Post reported. The third round of bids calls for 39,000 base stations operating on homegrown 3G technology TD-SCDMA in about 290 prefecture-level cities. This construction could bring TD-SCDMA, widely seen as the least mature of the three licensed 3G standards, to 70% of the mainland population by December, the paper said. Domestic equipment vendors ZTE Corp, Huawei Technologies, Datang Mobile and China Putian are expected to receive the lion’s share of the orders, though foreign providers Nokia Siemens Networks and Ericsson are also allowed to submit bids. Analysts said the latest round of bids came sooner than expected, suggesting that China Mobile is accelerating its network buildout.