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China Unicom to Invest Heavily in Tibet's Telecommunications Build-up

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China Unicom, the nation's leading telecommunications operator, announced Sunday it would invest 1.8 billion yuan (US$265 million) in Tibet to upgrade the information infrastructure on the plateau.

The investment will be put into place in five years, said Lu Yimin, general manager of China Unicom, after the company signed a cooperation pact with the government of Tibet Autonomous Region on Sunday.

The money will help improve telecommunications infrastructure, E-government, and the information infrastructure of small businesses and rural areas, according to the agreement.

Broadband Internet service is now available only to urban areas of 72 counties in Tibet, while 3,421 Tibetan villages are covered only by dialing service.

Broadband Internet service will be extended to cover 60 percent of 5,931 villages in the region by 2011 after China Telecom, also one of the world's largest fixed telephone and broadband service provider, agreed to invest 2.5 billion yuan at the end of June.

(Xinhua News Agency December 7, 2009)

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