The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has announced that China will discontinue its wireless personal handphone system (PHS) system to make room for the TD-SCDMA third-generation wireless service, Reuters reported. Introduced in 1998, the PHS system, known as Xiaolingtong, was designed as a low-cost alternative to other mobile technologies provided by China Mobile and China Unicom. The number of PHS subscribers had fallen in recent years as China Mobile and China Unicom lowered their fees to compete with the service. The discontinuation will affect China Telecom and China Unicom, which absorbed former fixed-line operator China Netcom in a merger last year, in the form of one-off asset write-offs.
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