Local news agency Interfax, citing reports in Shanghai Securities News yesterday, claims that China Mobile has begun to allow ZTE, Yulong, Samsung and LG to sell TD-SCDMA handsets directly to customers through the cellco’s service centres in Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Shenyang, Xiamen and Qinhuangdao. ‘As long as a TD-SCDMA handset has a network access from the Ministry of Industry and Informatisation (MII), it can now be sold in China Mobile’s authorised service centres. Before this, handset manufacturers had to bid to sell their TD-SCDMA handsets to China Mobile, which would then sell the handsets to customers,’ Liu Yi, a PR official from the company, said. ‘The difference between the two methods is that the latter is geared towards handset trials, with many users having to sign an agreement with China Mobile to take part in the commercial trial if they wished to buy a handset. Now handsets are being sold without the obligation to take part in a trial,’ he added. According to the news reports, by the end of May 20% of China Mobile’s service centres in the eight trial cities will be open sales channels for TD-SCDMA handsets. The proportion will rise to 50% by the end of June. CommsUpdate previously reported that China Mobile launched commercial trials of 3G services based on the TD-SCDMA standard in eight cities at the beginning of April.