Any person or company hoping to get new telephone service installed in one of China's major cities may need to wait until after the Olympics have finished.
China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has issued a notice which says the construction, system transfer and upgrade of telecommunications networks will be prohibited during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. This order has been implemented among telecommunication operators, including China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom, and their relevant agencies and major customers. This might also impact the third quarter financial outlook for these three telecommunications companies, as fewer newer cusotmers will be accepted.
According to the injunction, during the network confinement period, any network construction, transfer or upgrade will be prohibited and the circuit scheduling, the opening or adjustment of new telecom business will also be suspended. The detailed confinement period for Olympic cities, including Beijing, Hong Kong, Tianjin, Shenyang, Shanghai, Qingdao and Qinhuangdao, is from July 20, 2008 to September 20, 2008; for other cities, the period is from August 1, 2008 to August 25, 2008.
In the mobile communications sector, including TD-SCDMA and CDMA, the base station construction must be postponed until the end of the Olympics, although network planning and equipment tenders are allowed during the Games. Apart from a few national-level major project trials, work units should not launch new telecom trial during the Olympics.
MIIT says though the network stoppage will not affect the normal communications of phone and Internet users, the installation of new communications services, including mobile communications, fixed-lines and broadband, will not be available in some areas.