Business / Companies

China Unicom and China Telecom call for standardization of smartphone technology

By Ma Si ( Updated: 2015-12-11 17:16

China Unicom and China Telecom, two of the country's largest telecom carriers, joined hands on Friday to call for more smartphones which can support all the different network technologies.

In their latest joint efforts to catch up with market leader China Mobile, the two carriers asked smartphone vendors to make more devices which can support six different technologies including GSM, CDMA, TD-SCDMA, WCDMA, TD-LTE and FDD-LTE.

"Once such smartphones become popular, it will be far easier for consumers to buy a new phone. They don't have to worry about whether the gadget supports the technology used by a particular carrier," said Ku Wei, deputy manager at the marketing department of China Unicom.

"Handset makers will also have lower manufacturing costs because they do not have to make different types of contract phones for different carriers," he added.

Currently, China's big three State-owned carriers are using different technologies in their services.

China Unicom and China Mobile are roughly the same except that the latter uses one more technology called TS-SCDMA. But China Telecom chiefly employs the CDMA standard, a technology used by few telecom carriers.

At the joint conference, China Unicom and China Mobile released a white paper that detailed the requirements such as frequency bands that such smartphones need to meet.

"We will hand out handsome subsidies to vendors who make smartphones supporting six different technologies," said Lu Liangjun, deputy manager at the marketing department of China Telecom. But he did not disclose more details.

In October, the two companies announced a deal to jointly construct 4G base stations so that they can keep up with China Mobile which now has over one million towers, more than that of China Telecom and China Unicom combined.

The deal also came after a management reshuffle between the two giants. In August, Wang Xiaochu, former chairman of China Telecom, swapped roles with Chang Xiaobing, the former chairman of China Unicom.

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