China Telecom subsidiary Beijing Telecom has announced that its nascent CDMA2000 1xEV-DO network in the capital is ‘virtually ready’ for commercial use. Following three months of network upgrading and debugging, coverage of its 3G network will be 98% of the population of Beijing’s Fifth Ring Road by the end of March. Beijing Telecom will use the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), which both start this week, to test the EV-DO network. Reporters from media outlets including China Central Television (CCTV), China Radio International (CRI), Xinhua News and the People’s Daily, have been invited to use EV-DO data cards at the venues of the NPC and CPPCC sessions. Beijing Telecom claims the new platform offers download speeds of up to 3.1Mbps.
Recently, China Telecom signed agreements with seven mobile phone manufacturers to purchase 1.2 million 3G mobile phones in its first order. Telecom’s goal in 2009 is to sign up 35 million 3G users, rising to 100 million within three years.