The Chinese government has restated its commitment to technology neutrality for 3G standards, according to a statement made by the US Trade Representative website. ‘China has agreed to ensure that telecoms providers will be allowed to make their own choices as to which standard to adopt, and to issue licences for all 3G standards in a technologically neutral manner,’ the statement added. Analysts have speculated as to whether Beijing would favour its homegrown 3G standard TD-SCMDA over and above W-CDMA and CDMA2000 1x-EV-DO, against the wishes of some Chinese telcos. China Mobile, for example, has been open in its preference for W-CDMA, because it can upgrade its existing network rather than build from scratch.
In a separate – and conflicting – story, a senior Chinese telecoms analyst, Dong Xiaoyang, has predicted that China Telecom will join hands with China Mobile to roll out TD-SCDMA networks. Dong further speculates that the MII will award two TD-CDMA licences in July, one of which will go to the Telecom/Mobile joint venture. Six months later he expects the state to issue a W-CDMA licence to China Mobile and a CDMA2000 concession to China Unicom.