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Experts: 3G Still Has a Long Way to Go

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While China's three leading telecom operators are playing up the third generation (3G) telecom technologies, it is likely to take years for 3G services to become popular in China, Shanghai Securities News reported on Thursday.

Chen Yunhong, an Sinolink Securities analyst, said it would take at least three to six months to optimize the 3G networks after they were put to use. During the unstable start-up period, China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom all provided promotional packages to keep customers around.

Chen pointed out that China Telecom and China Mobile are both running two networks and the amalgamation of the networks would not be completed any time soon. Previously, China Mobile took one year to switch from the TD to GSM network.

Although China Telecom only runs one network, the CDMA, the industry chain remains immature.

Chen said wide spread use of 3G services will need three to five years.

Hou Ziqiang, a telecom expert said: "If you just want to make a phone call, the 3G phone is not even as good as the 2G phone, because the 3G network coverage is not as wide as the 2G coverage."

"As for Internet surfing, no big difference has been found between the two yet," he added.

( May 15, 2009)