China recognises rival 3G technologies

It comes as no great surprise but China’s Ministry of Information Industry has finally named WCDMA and cdma2000 as the other two official 3G standards to join the homegrown TD-SCDMA platform.

China ratified its own 3G standard, TD-SCDMA (time division synchronous code division multiple access), in January last year. Despite not yet announcing a timetable for licensing 3G, the country’s authorities maintain 3G networks will be fully operational in time for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Despite the latest developments, China is no closer to revealing its plans to distribute licences. However, some believe that the official recognition of WCDMA and cdma200 as 3G technologies means TD-SCDMA has finally reached commercial maturity.

It is now expected that WCDMA and CDMA200 will be tested on a wider scale.

Leading mobile operator, China Mobile, is preparing to spend around $3bn on its 3G upgrade and is reported to have already invited bids for contracts to build a TD-SCDMA network from equipment manufacturers. The network will span eight major cities and commercial trials of the 3G service will begin in October. Cities covered by the network will include Beijing and Shanghai.

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