Government announces three-year 3G investment plan

22 Jan 2009

China’s three 3G mobile licensees will invest a total of RMB400 billion (USD58.5 billion) over the next three years in building out their networks, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announced today in a statement quoted by Reuters. According to a previous government statement issued in December, the three cellcos – China Mobile (licensed for the homegrown TD-SCDMA technology standard), China Unicom (W-CDMA licence) and China Telecom (CDMA2000-based concession) – are expected to invest USD41 billion in third-generation networks in the next two years, including up to USD29 billion in 2009. China Mobile earlier this month announced a 3G CAPEX of USD8.6 billion in 2009, whilst according to the Ministry’s latest statement, China Unicom and China Telecom will each spend around half the larger cellco’s total, USD4.4 billion, on 3G development this year. This amounts to an annual total CAPEX of USD17.4 billion, significantly less than the previous reported estimate of USD29 billion.