China Unicom (CHU) has started the deployment of its WCDMA trial networks and it plans to set up the networks first in seven Chinese cities, including Shanghai, Shenzhen, Foshan, Liuzhou, Zhengzhou, Baoding and Wuxi.
Each of these seven cities will have about 100 WCDMA base stations. At the same time, information from the China Unicom Shanghai branch, Shenzhen branch and Wuxi branch has confirmed the beginning of the construction of WCDMA networks and base stations. Barring unforeseen circumstances, China Unicom's first WCDMA trial network will be launched on December 31, 2008.
At present, China Unicom's users in Wuxi can send short messages to apply for participating in the WCDMA technical tests, but the detailed user scale for the tests have not been decided.
However, China Unicom's WCDMA construction plan will still be arranged in accordance with the issue of China's 3G licenses. Once the company gains the license, it will immediately start its large-scale WCDMA network construction in major Chinese cities. By the planning of China Unicom, it expects to complete the 3G network deployment in major Chinese cities before the middle of 2009 and the networks in medium-sized and larger cities will start operation before the end of 2009.
Previous reports said that the Chinese government will issue the 3G licenses to China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom in December 2008 or no later than January 2009.
In addition, China Unicom has published a notice, which says that the company is engaged in deciding the detailed arrangement of its new 11-person leadership team and the result is expected to be announced in January 2009 when China Unicom and China Netcom complete merge in group level. Of these 11 people, four are former senior managers from China Unicom, including Chang Xiaobing, who will continue to be chairman of China Unicom; Tong Jilu, Li Gang and Zhang Jun'an. The other seven who are originally from China Netcom include Lu Yimin, Zuo Xunsheng, Li Fushen, Pei Aihua, Li Jianguo, Zhao Jidong and Jiang Zhengxin.