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3G Licensing to Be Unveiled Soon

The Chinese government is currently studying the modalities of the 3G licensing policy along with ways to implement it and is likely to announce the policy soon, said China's vice minister of Industry and Information Technology Xi Guohua.

Speaking at the China Mobility International Summit in Beijing, Xi said the time is now ripe for China to issue 3G mobile licenses.

Xi's remark reflects the government's intention to speed up issue of 3G licenses. The issue has been hanging fire for some time due to the government's support for TD-SCDMA, China's home-grown 3G mobile telecommunications standard. It is believed that this standard still needs some more time to compete with rival technologies like CDMA2000 and WCDMA.

With China's economic growth starting to slow down, the government now seems to be keener on starting 3G services. The services are expected to generate investments running into billions for network expansion, upgrades and replacement of handsets.

Chang Xiaobing, head of China Unicom, said last week that China may unveil the 3G licensing policy by the end of this year.

China Mobile is expected to get a license for TD-SCDMA while China Unicom and China Netcom may get licenses for WCDMA and CDMA2000 respectively.

(China Daily November 25, 2008)

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