An exact timeframe for the release of licenses for third-generation (3G) mobile telecommunications has yet to be set, Lou Qinjian, vice-minister of information industry, said yesterday.
"Although the three types of 3G technologies are ready, there are problems with the business model and management system," Lou told reporters on the sidelines of the 17th Party congress when asked about the delay in issuing the licenses.
There are three competing 3G standards: the Europe-initiated WCDMA, US-backed CDMA 2000 and China's TD-SCDMA.
Lou said in-depth research into the business model and operational management system is still needed.
Debate about which 3G standard will be adopted remains heated.
The government has been studying and testing the 3G standards since June 2001. The results will serve as a reference for the release of licenses.
When asked what kind of technology will be used at the Beijing Olympics, Lou said various means would be adopted.
"The major consideration is whether they can meet the demands of bandwidth and transmitting speed at that time."
He said, however, that whichever technologies were chosen, the matter of 3G licensing remained a separate issue.
Lou also said his ministry supports the restructuring of telecommunication companies to provide improved services to consumers.
"The best way for the telecommunications sector to develop is through competition," he said.
(China Daily 10/19/2007 page6)