Chinese telecom operator China Unicom has announced plans to invest additional CNY1.5 billion to add 50 cities of seven provinces into its WCDMA network.

Of the total investment, CNY1.1 billion will be used in the construction of wireless networks and CNY400 million will be allocated to supporting transmission facilities. At present, China Unicom's branches in the seven provinces are working with design units on a feasibility study in accordance to the construction scale issued by the headquarters of the company.

China Unicom has already initiated two phases of WCDMA network construction, covering 56 cities in the first phase and 228 in the second. With the additional 50 cities, the company's WCDMA networks will be available in 334 Chinese cities.

According to China Unicom's original plan, it will build 80,000 base stations and 70,000 indoor coverage projects in 284 cities by the end of 2009, but the current construction speed is faster than expected. So far, the construction of major projects and the optimizations of these projects have been finished in 282 cities, with the exception of the two large municipalities of Beijing and Shanghai.

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