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China Netcom not interested in homebrew 3G

Chinese fixed line player, China Netcom, has reportedly said that it is not interested in building a network based on the country’s homegrown TD-SCDMA platform.

Instead, Netcom, which has no mobile operations of its own, is understood to be interested in China Unicom’s GSM network and an upgrade path to WCDMA.

The operator also criticised TD-SCDMA as being too immature and as having terminals that suffer from overheating and high power consumption.

Unicom, which also operates a GSM network, has denied that there are any plans for it to break up or sell off one of its two networks. But with the licensing of 3G expected in the not too distant future, there is much speculation on how China might shake up the telecoms market.

It is expected that China will accommodate all 3G technologies and at least one licence will be reserved for TD-SCDMA usage.

The leading expectation is that China Mobile, the country’s biggest operator, currently running a large scale TD-SCDMA trial is likely to get a TD-SCDMA licence. Unicom is expected to be broken up, with the GSM part going to Netcom and the CDMA network being either bought or leased by rival fixed line player, China Telecom.

As a result, Netcom would get a WCDMA licence and Telecom would get a cdma2000 licence.

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