China Telecom, through its Beijing subsidiary (Beijing Telecom), will offer free mobile internet usage to mobile subscribers who sign up before July 30. China Telecom will also reduce local call fees (now between RMB0.11 and RMB0.19), down by 72% for subscribers to new monthly packages. These run between RMB49 and RMB189.
These are plainly designed to boost 3G services consumption and gain more market share. China Telecom’s 3G network has a coverage more than 98% in urban areas in Beijing. China Telecom’s CDMA2000 3G network rollout will proceed rapidly.
One question that arises is whether Apple will develop a CDMA2000 3G iPhone for China Telecom. If it did, it might gain a substanial part of the relatively affluent urban netizens that China Telecom is targeting through its new bundled data/call plans in Beijing and new eSurfing plans in Shanghai.
Judging by Apple’s past decisions, the answer should be "no". But predicting what Apple will do, even though it is a fascinating past-time, is rarely fruitful or accurate. The iPhone in our illustration is not a CDMA2000 3G iPhone for China Telecom. Not.