First steps towards revamped Chinese market

27 May 2008

The overhaul of the Chinese telecoms market has begun after the government revealed that it wishes China Telecom to buy China Unicom’s CDMA network, and for the remainder of Unicom to be merged with China Netcom. Meanwhile, China Mobile Communications Corp (CMCC), parent of China Mobile Ltd, the world’s largest cellco by subscribers, announced that it will acquire wireline operator China Tietong Telecommunications Corp. Finally, China Telecom will assume the basic telecom services unit of China Satcom. Experts estimate the restructuring may take four to six months given the difficulty in asset assessments, especially those of China Unicom’s GSM and CDMA network. Once the process is complete, 3G licensing is expected to begin. According to earlier reports, China Mobile will be granted a 3G licence based on the country’s home-made technology TD-SCDMA, while China Telecom and China Netcom will get theirs based on the W-CDMA and CDMA2000 standards respectively.