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2009-01-10 CRI Roundup
    2009-01-10 14:53:06     CRIENGLISH.com

Hello and welcome to this edition of CRI Roundup brought to you by China Radio International. I'm Damin in Beijing.

China's telecommunications supervisor this week issued long-awaited third-generation mobile phone licenses to three mobile operators.

Business insiders believe the move will lead to more than 40 billion US dollars of investment to build new networks over the next two years, and will inject vigor into the country's slightly downward-facing economy.

In today's program, we'll take a look at the 3G networks in China. Please stay tuned.

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China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, or MIIT, said China Mobile has been awarded a license for TD-SCDMA, the domestically-developed 3G standard.

The other two main carriers, China Telecom and China Unicom, received licenses for the U.S.-developed CDMA2000 and European WCDMA, respectively.

The 3G high-speed networks can handle faster data downloads, allowing handset users to make video calls and watch TV programs.

The news triggered many people's eagerness to catch with mobile phone trends and enjoy the advanced telecom service. Guan Jian is a Beijing resident.

"The 3G cell phone will be good. It will provide video call service on a broadband network. It will be much more convenient to visit a Web site via handset."

The Chinese government sees the development of 3G networks as an important step in boosting domestic demand and optimizing the telecom market competition.

China's Industry and Information Technology Minister Li Yizhong says it's vital to develop 3G and 4G technologies for mobile communication in China.

"China now boasts 950 million telephone users, including 650 million mobile phone subscribers. Although we have a large consumer base, our service is insufficient due to lack of core technologies. The current 2G network has met the demands of subscribers and economic development, but the latest trend is to develop 3G and 4G networks."

Industry insiders predict fierce competition for 3G market share among the three carriers.

Gao Songge, deputy director of China Mobile, said the company would make the development of TD-SCDMA its top priority.

"China Mobile completed the integration of the TD-SCDMA network and the second generation GSM network at the end of last year. In the meantime, the second phase of TD-SCDMA network construction has been carried out, and now the network covers 28 cities around the country. According to our plan, it will cover all cities by 2011."

Gao Songge says China Mobile subscribers could receive 3G services by using a dual-mode mobile phone without changing their numbers, SIM cards, or re-registering.

Yang Xiaowei, deputy general manager of China Telecom, says his company will invest a considerable amount of money in the construction and operation of its 3G network.

"In the next three years, China Telecom will invest 80 billion yuan to upgrade, improve and optimize the mobile communication network in an effort to build a reliable and elaborate network for subscribers."

While some consumers are concerned about the high cost of using 3G phones and services, Professor Zeng Jianqiu from Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications says the competition will finally benefit subscribers.

"The speed and capacity of the 3G network will be much improved, so the enterprises will push forward a lot of services and products. Also, the prices and taxes will not be as high, and will possibly even decline."

Meanwhile, Zhang Ying, vice president of Analysys International, a leading consultancy for technology, media and telecom businesses in China, says the issuance of 3G licenses will benefit cell phone manufacturers.

"China's 600 million cell phone users have created a market worth several hundred billion yuan a year for cell phone makers. With the introduction of 3G telecom, some consumers will buy new cell phones in a bid to adapt to and enjoy the new multifaceted services. That is good news for the cell phone manufacturing industry."

It's also widely believed that relevant equipment manufacturers will be beneficiaries from the construction of 3G network.

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And that concludes this edition of  CRI Roundup. Remember, if you have any comments or suggestions, or would like to listen to any of our programs online, you can visit our Web site at crienglish.com. I'm Damin in Beijing. Thanks for listening. Stay tuned for more great programming on China Radio International.

 
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