China Telecom and China Netcom are planning to join their Little Smart wireless telephone services by linking up their short messaging services.
A short messaging connection ceremony between the two operators will be held later today. The Chinese press are quoting sources close to the company as saying that the price for each short message connected between the two operators will be 0.08 yuan (0.96 US cents).
As a result of this cooperation, Little Smart phone subscribers will be able to send short messages to counterparts in 21 South China provinces dominated by China Telecom or in 10 North China provinces dominated by China Netcom.
Little Smart, also called Xiaolingtong, is built onto the existing fixed-line network and lures users with low per minute rates, one-way charges and cheap monthly fees. Government figures show that the two fixed-line operators had about 62 million Xiaolingtong subscribers at the end of last month.
Both China Telecom and China Netcom have spent hundreds of millions of dollars this year on Xiaolingtong. The services are designed to counter China Mobile and China Unicom, since both China Telecom and China Netcom do not have mobile licenses.