China Unicom's (CHU) CEO Shang Bing has announced the company's plan to increase investment on 3G network construction across the country and to upgrade the GPRS services in backbone cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

China Unicom plans to spend up to CNY18.2 billion for the upgrades. The sum may be increased by 10% and reach CNY20 billion by the end of the construction.

This is the first time that China Unicom has upgraded its network throughout the entire country. In the past, China Unicom has been using its CDMA1x network to compete with China Mobile's GPRS services. China Unicom has spent millions of dollars to develop CDMA in China, but the CDMA services have not brought it the riches it expected.

China Unicom's first half year fiscal report showed that CDMA had a loss of CNY460 million.

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