In a move to strengthen its competitive edge, China Unicom Corp announced recently that it will be working closely with Qualcomm Inc to accelerate its location-based services under the brand "U-Map."
"Though it contributes to only a small part of our business now, we see huge market potential for the services," said Li Weichong, general director of the Marketing and Sales Department at China Unicom Corp. Li went on to say that the services only account for about 3 – 4% of total business so far.
Based on Qualcomm Inc's gpsOne (global positioning system) technology, "U-Map" provides navigating functions to customers. It is one of China Unicom's six major wireless value-added services under the name of "U-Max," which was officially launched in July last year. The services are currently available in three cities–Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. With increasing competition from its major rival China Mobile and other telecom operators, China Unicom hopes to develop more value-added telecommunications services based on its CDMA1X (code division multiple access) network so as to consolidate its market share. China Unicom had recruited 70 million GSM subscribers and 19.06 million CDMA subscribers by the end of last year.