China will allow its mobile operators to make their own decision on which 3G wireless technology to deploy.

Minister of Information Industry Wang Xudong said to the local press that China is in no rush to award 3G mobile phone licenses and will observe other nations and market conditions before doing so.

Although the industry believed the government would be the one deciding which standard(s) operators will deploy, the minister said operators would be allowed to select 3G standards themselves. China is testing the three main standards during the course of this year, which includes CDMA2000, WCDMA and the Chinese backed TD-SCDMA. China has invested heavily in TD-SCDMA but the standard lacks behind the other two in terms of maturity. If operators decided not to deploy TD-SCDMA, it could be a big blow for the developers and manufacturers of TD-SCDMA products.

Earlier, IT WAS reported professor that Kan Kaili, who has close relationship to the Chinese leadership, said China would not be awarding 3G licenses this year or next year. The license auction was expected this summer but officials are believed to be abandoning the idea. If so, it would upset local and foreign mobile phone makers who have lined-up products for the Chinese markets. Previously, foreign giant telcos were eager to get equipment contacts in the world's largest mobile phone market and had been lobbying the government to hand out licenses as soon as possible.


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