PCCW has revealed it will be re-entering the domestic wireless market by acquiring the country’s smallest cellco Sunday Communications. According to PCCW chairman Richard Li, his company will pay USD200 million in cash to become the largest shareholder in the company. The move marks PCCW’s re-entry into the wireless arena, it having sold its last remaining 40% stake in rival cellco CSL in 2002 to Telstra. The acquisition is also being viewed as beneficial to China Network Communications Group (China Netcom), which owns a 20% in PCCW, to develop its own 3G operation on the mainland; China Netcom is widely touted as one of three companies likely to be awarded a 3G licence by Beijing late this year.
In a separate announcement, Sunday today announced the commercial launch of its W-CDMA network. Built by Huawei, which also owns a stake in the company, Sunday’s network is the last of the four 3G licensees to launch, having been beaten to the chase by Hutchison (3), SmarTone and CSL.