The Chinese government has thrown its weight behind domestically developed third generation mobile phone technology, said the Financial Times. It is providing funds for the development of the TD-SCDMA technology that is being developed jointly by the stateowned Datang Telecom of Siemen Germany. It is also earmarking a dedicated radio spectrum for 3G services and encouraging local firms to make handsets and other products to support them. 3G technology allows mobile phone users to send pictures, music and other information at high speed.
Datang says its own technology is more flexible, cheaper and can handle bigger volumes of traffic than the 3G technologies that are being developed by European and US companies – WCDMA and CDMA2000 respectively. Zhou Huan, president of Datang, said a 3G system could be launched commercially by the end of 2004, although some analysts thought this might be optimistic. The Western-developed technologies are likely to be launched before this date, which would mean them stealing a march on TD-CDMA – unless the Ministry of Information Industry decided to delay licensing 3G operators until the China-developed technology had matured.