According to local media reports, China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology will issue 3G licenses in December 2008 or January 2009 before the lunar new year.
The three 3G services are based on different systems — TD-SCDMA, WCDMA and CDMA2000 — and will be allocated to China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom, respectively. In addition, the 3G licenses will not be issued independently; instead they will be included in the license for basic telecom businesses.
An insider from China Unicom has told local media that the telecom operators are currently discussing with MIIT about the specific items of the license and the license is expected to be issued no later than the beginning of 2009. The license will reportedly clarify the business range and contents of the three major Chinese telecom operators as well as their rights and duties.
Previously, it was expected that China would issue the 3G license in the second quarter of 2009 or even later. However, to meet operators demand for the 3G licenses and to motivate China's economy and stimulate domestic demand, the government has greatly accelerated the license allocation.