Microsoft to gain Chinese foothold

28 Feb 2003

Microsoft has signed an agreement with China’s second largest mobile operator China United Telecommunications Corporations (China Unicom) under which the US company will use its software to develop new data offerings for Unicom’s 34 million subscribers. The agreement is focussed around CDMA 1X technology, which Unicom is using to upgrade its networks. In January 2002 Unicom launched a trial CDMA-based service using a network built by its controlling shareholder, the Unicom Group, which has the exclusive right to offer CDMA-based mobile services in the People’s Republic. The service shares some infrastructure with Unicom’s GSM network, including base stations, mobile switching centres and the core transmission network and by 1 July 2002 had 936,000 subscribers. At the same date Unicom’s GSM offering boasted 33.13 million customers, of which 17.52 million were contracted and the remainder pre-paid.