China Mobile (CHA) told First Financial Daily that the second stage construction plan of TD-SCDMA has been formally approved by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

According to the plan, the second stage construction of TD-SCDMA construction will cover 28 cities, including provincial capitals, municipalities and some cities designated in the plan. TD-SCDMA equipment suppliers say that by the current process, the earliest time for China Mobile to invite a tender will be before the opening of the Olympic Games this week and the network construction will be expected to be completed at the end of 2008 or at the beginning of 2009. At the beginning of August, China Mobile will also organize these equipment suppliers for an equipment power test.

The timetable for the launch of the bidding document has not been determined, because in current communications, the technology of the equipment suppliers cannot meet the requirements of China Mobile in some areas. However, China Mobile confirms that the construction of the second stage network will start after the Olympic Games.

Wang Jianzhou, president of China Mobile, says that the company has made an actual investment of CNY15 billion in the TD-SCDMA network construction in eight cities. At present, 14,688 base stations have been built and the number will be increased to 18,000 by the end of 2008. By this development scale, China Mobile's total investment in the second stage TD-SCDMA network construction will be over CNY30 billion.

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