- China will develop its own equipment for 3G (third-generation) mobile data networks and will launch 3G networks around 2003, according to a report from the website of the official Xinhua News Agency.
Officials of the Ministry of Information Industry gave the projection, Xinhua reported, quoting the Friday issue of the official China Daily newspaper.
China already is the world's second-largest mobile telecommunications market, and the number of subscribers is rapidly growing. Some observers expect 3G eventually to become the major medium for internet access in China. The technology will allow mobile operators to provide data services such as information, entertainment and e-commerce at high bandwidth to mobile devices.
China's 3G networks will be based on TD-SCDMA (time-division synchronous code-division multiple access), a standard jointly developed by researchers in China and foreign telecommunications equipment vendors, principally Siemens AG.
Several vendors and mobile network operators joined in Beijing recently to create the TD-SCDMA Technology Forum, according to Xinhua. Members include operators Datang Telecom Technology Group, China Telecom, China United Telecommunications (China Unicom) and China Mobile, and equipment vendors Siemens, Motorola and Nortel Networks. Datang and Siemens are gearing up for a nationwide trial of TD-SCDMA in the first half of next year, China Daily reported recently.
On Sunday, Siemens announced plans to invest $US1 billion into mobile telecommunications research and development in China, focusing mostly on 3G, according to a report Monday on Xinhua's website. The company early next month will open an 800 million-yuan ($US96.7 million) industrial park in Shanghai's Pudong district that will serve as the center of its mobile-phone business in China, the report says. Siemens is working on its first TD-SCDMA handset, company officials say, according to the report.
TD-SCDMA is one of three 3G standards recognised by the International Telecommunication Union. The others are W-CDMA (Wideband CDMA), with broad European backing, and the US-backed CDMA2000.