China Mobile is attempting to lure users to its third generation (3G) telecommunications services in Beijing by offering them free mobile phones, the South China Morning Post reported. Users in Beijing who pay in advance for up to two years worth of usage fees will receive a free TD-SCDMA handset ranging from US$219.60-1,024.70 in price. A market watcher told the paper that the plan implies that China Mobile will bear the total cost of the mobile handset. TD-SCDMA is China’s locally developed 3G standard and is widely seen as the least mature of the world’s 3G technologies. Handset availability has long been cited as a roadblock for TD-SCDMA. China Mobile said earlier this year that it would spend US$1.76 billion on handset subsidies. Separately, China Telecom on Tuesday unveiled 20 new 3G handset models that run on rival technology CDMA.
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