No surprises as MIIT belatedly awards 3G licences

7 Jan 2009

In a move which will shock precisely no-one, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has finally awarded three 3G licences to the trio of state-owned telcos. As announced last month, China Mobile has been formally given a licence for the country’s homegrown technology TD-SCDMA. China Unicom and China Telecom have been awarded concessions to develop W-CDMA and CDMA2000 networks respectively.

The MIIT said last month that spending on 3G equipment would total USD41 billion over the next two years. In a separate but related story, China Mobile is reported in the local press as having already met equipment suppliers in preparation for the launch of its third-phase network construction tender for TD-SCDMA networks in 162 cities. The company is reported to be expecting to open the tender on 25 January, with the winners to be announced at the end of March.