China Telecom Corp, the country's largest fixed telecom operator, has begun the commercial operation of its China Vnet broadband business brand in an attempt to copy the success of China Mobile's partnership with its service providers by building a unified Internet platform for service providers and Internet users, where the latter can find varied content such as online games, audio and video files, and online education.

Users will pay for the services together with their phone bills, with the telecom operator and service providers sharing the income from that system.

"Before, telecom operators were busy with building networks, while service providers were troubled by a lack of efficient ways to charge users, but China Vnet aims to solve these problems," said Chang Xiaobing, deputy general manager of the telecom giant.

China Telecom says that 26 service providers have already joined the platform and it aims to have 1 million fee-paying users in 2003.

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