www.163.com is reporting that China Unicom is restricted to operating fixed line networks in the north of China. According to the online news source, last week the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) issued notices saying that China Unicom may only sign up new fixed line users in ten northern provinces and municipalities including Beijing and Shandong as well as Chongqing and Sichuan.
In January this year the MIIT issued three national 3G licences to China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom. Media reports at the time agreed that the three cellcos would all be able to operate other telecoms services – including fixed line and broadband – across the entire People’s Republic. However, the latest report suggests that only China Mobile and China Telecom are licensed on a national basis, leaving Unicom shut out of the south.