An insider at China Unicom (CHU) has revealed that the company will start its WCDMA equipment tender on September 26, 2008.
According to local media reports, the insider says the tender will reportedly cover more than 200 Chinese cities and include 70,000 base stations. China Unicom has already implemented tests of the WCDMA network in eight cities across China.
Compared with the CDMA tender of China Telecom and the TD-SCDMA tender of China Mobile, the competition in China Unicom's WCDMA tender might be more severe and the major competitors include Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia Siemens Network, Huawei and ZTE.
According to previous reports released by China Unicom, the company will invest CNY100 billion into the equipment upgrading of its wireless network in the next three years. President of China Unicom Chang Xiaobing says the company will launch the WCDMA services in the third quarter of 2009 while rumors abound that the company plans to start a WCDMA commercial trial in July 2009 and extend to the whole country in September 2009.
So far, China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom, the three major Chinese telecom operators that manage 3G mobile businesses, have all entered the battle. At present, China Mobile has about 15,000 TD-SCDMA base stations in eight Chinese cities and its second-round tender covers 23,000 base stations in 28 cities. By these statistics, the construction scale of China Unicom's WCDMA base station is twice that of China Mobile's TD-SCDMA base stations and the number of its covered cities is five times than that of China Mobile. However, China Unicom still faces serious competition with its two rivals, for China Telecom will start to allocate numbers for its CDMA network in November 2008 and China Mobile will start TD-SCDMA commercial trials in the second batch of 28 cites from June 2009.