Chinese mobile operator China Unicom has signed an SMS interconnection deal with fixed line telcos China Telecom and China Netcom, both of which provide limited mobility PHS/PAS services under the name Xiao Ling Tong or ‘Little Smart’. According to China Daily, interoperability trials are now under way in Beijing, Jiangsu, Hebei and Jilin Provinces; a commercial launch date has not been set.
Unicom, and rival mobile operator China Mobile, have in the past complained to the government that Little Smart should be classed as a mobile service and should therefore not be used by companies who do not hold a cellular licence. The government sided with the wireline telcos, however, ruling that they can continue to provide PAS services as an extension of their fixed line portfolios. Unicom’s decision to allow messaging between its own networks and the Little Smart systems will be good news for Telecom and Netcom who are keen to supplement their fixed line income with revenues from the limited mobility service.