China's three major telecom operators China Mobile, China Unicom, and China Telecom have published the performance of their 3G businesses since the country's issuance of 3G licenses on January 7, 2009.
According to statistics provided by the three companies, during the first year of China's 3G era, the country completed total investments of CNY160.9 billion for the construction of 3G networks.
China Mobile said that by the end of 2009, the three phases of constructions of TD-SCDMA network had been completed and over 70% of cities and regions in the country had been included in the TD-SCDMA network coverage. The Chinese telecom operator said it had invested about CNY80 billion in TD-SCDMA and by signing strategic agreements with various provinces, it promoted CNY300 billion investments in the TD-SCDMA industry and brought working opportunities to 100,000 people. So far, there are over five million TD-SCDM users in China and 266 types of TD-SCDMA mobile phones are available in the market. In addition, the company has launched many new TD-SCDMA services like video calls, mobile phone videos, and mobile phone e-book readers, in addition to its over 150 services transferred from 2G services.
The development of China Telecom's 3G network is reportedly the fastest among the three operators. In August 2009, China Telecom completed its nationwide 3G coverage and it also realized WLAN coverage in major colleges and universities across China. So far, China Telecom's 3G services have been available in 31 provinces, cities and autonomous regions, covering over 500 cities, 2,055 counties, and 6,000 developed villages. Meanwhile, China Telecom was the first to release mobile phone numbers for 3G commercial network in China. In March 23, 2009, China Telecom Jiangsu and China Telecom Beijing started to release 3G mobile phone numbers and in April 2009, China Telecom's 3G numbers were opened to the entire country. To date, over 500 types of mobile phone have been launched for China Telecom's CDMA network and over 100 new 3G products will soon be brought into the market.
As the operator of WCDMA, the most accepted 3G network in the world, China Unicom has developed its 3G network in 335 cities and major scenic spots. Since the official start of WCDMA commercial use, China Unicom has launched various 3G services, including mobile phone Internet, mobile Phone TV, mobile phone music, video calls, mobile phone email boxes, mobile phone newspapers, and wireless network interface cards. By the end of November 2009, China Unicom had gained 1.822 million 3G users and the number is expected to be over two million for the entire year. In addition, the company introduced Apple's iPhone handsets into the Chinese market on October 30, 2009, adding new power to its WCDMA camp. To date, China Unicom has completed WCDMA international roaming tests in 33 popular outbound tourism destinations, including America, Canada, Britain, Germany, France, Australia, South Africa, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, to ensure quality 3G communications for travelers. Cooperating with 126 operators, China Unicom has opened 3G roaming services in 64 countries and regions around the world.