China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announced at a press conference last week that in the first quarter of 2008, the three major Chinese telecommunications operators, China Mobile, China Unicom, and China Telecom, invested a total amount of CNY120 billion in 3G development, achieving obvious effect on the promotion of relevant industries.
Zhu Jun, director for the communications development department of MIIT, told local media that according to the plan, the three telecom operators will directly invest CNY400 billion in the construction of 3G projects in the next three years and the planned scale for 2009 is about CNY180 billion. By the end of the first quarter of 2009, about CNY120 billion of those investments have been completed.
He said so far China Mobile has completed its first-phase TD-SCDMA project in ten cities, its second-phase project also has nearly come to the end, and the third-phase project is already initiated. For the other two companies, China Unicom is busy in the construction of its WCDMA networks, which are expected to be officially launched in May 2009, and China Telecom's CDMA2000 networks are also under construction.
Foreign companies like Motorola are taking advantage of the business opportunities in China's 3G sector. Motorola announced last week that the company has won a commercial WCDMA contract with China Unicom for Motorola to provide China Unicom with WCDMA radio access network equipment, packet switched core network, and 2G/3G interoperability functions that will enable a seamless integration of China Unicom's GSM and WCDMA networks.
"By leveraging Motorola's expertise in mobile broadband, we are well-positioned to help China Unicom deliver voice, high-speed data and Internet services at home and on the go" stated Dr. Mohammad Akhtar, vice president and general manager of the Home and Networks Mobility division of Motorola China. "This contract reinforces Motorola's long-term commitment to deliver a high-performing and reliable network that effectively supports China Unicom's growth plans."