Chinese telecommunications operator China Unicom has announced its development schedule for 3G — the company will put forward a WCDMA equipment tender in January 2009, start network construction in February and formally open the network on May 17.

While continuing to work through its merger with China Netcom, China Unicom has been busy preparing for the coming of the 3G age since the second half of 2008. It has already started construction of WCDMA trial networks and launched the technology tender for the equipment tender of WCDMA commercial networks.

According to the plans of China Unicom, the interoperability between 2G and 3G will mainly focus on the voice switching in the initial stage of network construction while in the middle and late stages the value-added service switching will become the focus.

China Unicom, along with China Mobile and China Telecom, just gained its 3G license for WCDMA operation on January 7, 2009.

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