The central government has set a target of more than 100 million TD-SCDMA subscribers in three years for China Mobile, the South China Morning Post reported. China Mobile was asked to submit a detailed business plan and budget for the next round of tender, worth US$4.36 billion, for extending the TD-SCDMA network. TD-SCDMA is China’s homegrown standard for third-generation mobile communications. The news was delivered by Li Yizhong, the new information industry minister, when he met China Mobile and industry executives. Li said that the number of TD-SCDMA users should surpass Xiaolingtong users at their peak in 2006, which was more than 93 million, according to an anonymous source. Xiaolingtong is a fixed-line technology that provides limited mobile service. China Mobile currently has 3,000 paying TD-SCDMA subscribers and 20,000 users who were invited to use the service for free. The firm is operating trial networks in eight cities, including Beijing and Shanghai.
Also see CER April 2008’s cover story on China’s telecom industry restructuring