A plan to split China's number two mobile carrier, China Unicom, into two separate companies has been submitted to senior government officials, China Daily reported. The move is seen as a prelude to an announcement over the granting of 3G mobile licenses, expected later this year. According to the report, the plan submitted to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) calls for China Unicom's GSM and CDMA mobile networks to be separated and merged with fixed-line carriers China Telecom and China Netcom, creating three cellular operators in China, alongside China Mobile. Citing industry analysts, the report said the plan was considered likely to go through as it would ensure effective competition but avoid excessive investment by too many firms chasing the new technology. An earlier proposal to consolidate the four main fixed line and mobile operators into two firms was rejected by the NDRC, the report said.