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Telco to Tap 3G to Increase User Base

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China Telecom is set to boost its subscriber base by 30 million new mobile phone users this year, the best performance in its history, thanks to a booming 3G business and more entry-level models, the country's No.3 telco said Tuesday in Beijing.

Also yesterday, China Telecom and Motorola launched a new 3G smartphone that uses the Google's Android system as the telco entered the high-end 3G market.

"It's the first 3G phone we jointly developed with an international brand, and it will help us attract high-end users next year," said Ma Daojie, the telco's mobile business general manager.

It is Motorola's first 3G phone co-developed with China Telecom that has features exclusively designed for Chinese consumers, such as dual-network support, said Li Yan, Motorola's vice president in charge of mobile phone business in China.

The Android-based Motorola XT800 supports both the 3G CDMA 2000 technology, which China Telcom adopts, and GSM. It allows users to subscribe to the telco's 3G service with their existing numbers. That may pull users from China Mobile and China Unicom, analysts said.

Motorola will launch more than 10 3G high-end models in China next year and also entry-level 3G phones costing about 1,000 yuan (US$146) in China within 12 to 18 months, John Gherghetta, Motorola's corporate vice president and general manager of mobile device business for international markets, told Shanghai Daily.

Cooperating with home-grown firms, China Telecom has launched more than 500 models. The wider choice may help attract 30 million new users this year, compared with an annual increase of 10 million new CDMA users in China in the past.

China Telecom will also expand distribution sales channels, including online stores in, for 3G products.

(Shanghai Daily December 30, 2009)

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