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China Mobile invites bids for mainland's first 3G network

Posted: 21 Mar 2007     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:3G  TD-SCDMA  W-CDMA  CDMA-2000  China Mobile Communications 

China Mobile Communications Corp. invited bids for contracts worth as much Rs.13,677.20 crore ($3.1 billion) to build China's first 3G network, according to a ShanghaiDaily report.

China Mobile asked equipment makers such as Nokia and Ericsson to submit bids for the network, estimated to be worth Rs.11,471.20 crore ($2.6 billion), based on a homegrown standard, Chen Haofei, industry group TD-SCDMA Forum's secretary general, said in a phone interview. He added that China Mobile will spend about Rs.2,276.59 crore ($516 million) on subsidies for 3G handsets.

The winner will build the network based on the locally-developed TD-SCDMA standard that needs to be completed by October for a commercial trial of the technology, Chen said.

"Given that the licence will only be awarded after the trials, it looks like the issuance may be pushed to early 2008," said Francis Cheung, analyst at CLSA Ltd in Hong Kong. "The government likely wants to ensure success of a homegrown technology, and this would require the support of a strong operator like China Mobile."

The 3G network will cover eight cities in China, including Beijing and Shanghai, Chen said. Li Jun, spokesman for China Mobile, and Rainie Lei, spokeswoman at Hong Kong-listed unit China Mobile Ltd, declined to comment.

In January last year, the government selected TD-SCDMA as a 3G standard but said it is considering the other two technologies, Europe's W-CDMA and the United States' CDMA-2000.

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