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Telecom Giants Spend US$12 Bln on 3G Rollout

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China's top three telecommunication operators, China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom, invested 80 billion yuan to boost the third-generation (3G) network so far this year, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said on Wednesday.


[Yi Runqian/ CFP]

China Mobile, the leading mobile network operator, has opened 3G service in 38 companies based on the domestically-developed TD-SCDMA 3G standard, and is expected to expand the service to 238 cities by the end of this year.

China Telecom has also offered 3G service using the US-developed CDMA2000 standard in 342 cities, while China Unicom has expanded its network based on Europe's WCDMA standards to 100 cities.

The top three operators have started trial 3G operation, which allows mobile phone users to download data faster, make video calls and watch TV shows.

The ministry expected the three operators would invest 170 billion yuan (US$24.87 billion) in 3G network construction this year.

China's top three telecommunication operators are expected to invest 280 billion yuan in 3G products and network construction from 2009 to 2010, said Lu Xiangdong, Vice President of China Mobile Communications Corporation here Wednesday.

It is estimated that the growth of China's multimedia industry, e-commerce and cultural creative industries stimulated by the 3G technology will generate at least 2 to 3 trillion yuan of social investment, Lu said in addressing 2009 China-UK Internet Roundtable Conference on Wednesday.

According to China Internet Network Information Center, the country's Internet users reached 338 million by the first half of this year. Mobile Internet users rose 32.1 percent in the first half of this year to 155 million, boosted by the launch of 3G service.

(Xinhua News Agency July 23, 2009)