China Unicom to win Macau EV-DO licence by default

9 Aug 2006

China Unicom’s Macau unit will be awarded a 3G licence based on CDMA2000 1xEV-DO technology by default as it is the only CDMA-based mobile operator in the territory, reports Chinese language newspaper Communications Weekly. At least four bidders are competing for another 3G licence based on the W-CDMA standard, including Hong Kong-based cellcos SmarTone-Vodafone and Hutchison, and Macau firms Companhia de Telecomunicacoes de Macau and Kong Seng Paging. Zhuang Huide, a Macau Unicom spokesperson, said the company will wait for the local government to announce the final result on 28 October. According to rules issued in April, Macau will issue a maximum of four 3G concessions in two tranches. In the first, it will award two licences – one based on W-CDMA and another based on CDMA2000 – and the third concession may be based on any ‘suitable’ technology, including the Chinese-developed TD-SCDMA. Unicom has to offer 3G services within one year of being licensed. Zhuang said Unicom will have advantages over its GSM-based rivals, including cost and time savings of upgrading its existing CDMA200 1x network and roaming possibilities in mainland China.

China, Hong Kong, Macau, China Unicom