According to China Unicom (CHU), the company plans to invest CNY100 billion to expand its network to prepare for high-speed third-generation services in China and to grab a one-third market share in the 3G sector.
Chang Xiaobing, president and CEO of China Unicom, said at a press conference that the company's restructuring with China Netcom is going smoothly and it will hold a special general meeting of shareholders and to complete the relevant transaction before the end of 2008. China Unicom is expected to gain a license for 3G mobile phone services when it completes its acquisition of China Netcom and its development focus will then be the WCDMA business, while China Telecom and China Mobile will gain the licenses for CDMA2000 and TD-SCDMA, respectively.
China Unicom has a high expectation about the 3G business. The company says that relying on the overall improvement of its mobile communications services, the new China Unicom will actively extend its medium and high-end user group and try to grab a one-third market share in the 3G sector. The company will greatly increase its investment in network construction. In 2008, the investment ratio of China Unicom in mobile sector is expected to increase by 100% compared with that in its original plan. In 2009 and 2010, China Unicom will invest CNY100 billion to develop its 3G-oriented businesses.
In addition, China Unicom frames a diversified network investment strategy, which focuses on the breadth and depth of its 2G network, the 3G development in key areas and the investment returns of the fixed lines. Through unified planning and taking full advantage of the investment, China Unicom aims to optimize its existing network resources and to upgrade the comprehensive service ability of the network in the most effective way.
According to the statistics of China Unicom and China Netcom, by June 30, 2008, the new company had 259 million users, including 128 million GSM users, 109 million fixed line users and 23.36 million broadband users.