China Mobile, the world’s largest cellular operator, has been reported by the Hong Kong press as saying that it plans to launch 3G services only in selected mainland cities, allaying concerns that the company’s future finances would be weighed down by the commitments of a full nationwide rollout. According to the Hong Kong Standard, chairman Wang Jianzhou is quoted as saying that China Mobile’s 3G strategy is to target ‘only larger cities and commercial districts’.
China’s telecom operators are currently awaiting the award of 3G licences by Beijing before commencing network construction. The government is widely expected to award concessions to fixed line operators China Telecom and China Netcom, as well as to wireless incumbents China Mobile and China Unicom. China Netcom said last month it plans to spend between CNY80 billion and CNY100 billion (USD10.1 billion and USD12.5 billion) to roll out 3G services.