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MII makes 3G tests a must
( 2003-11-20 09:48) (Shanghai Daily)

The Ministry of Information Industry (MII) is making it mandatory for all of China's six telecommunication operators to test a home-grown third generation mobile technology starting next year.

China Mobile Communications Co Ltd, China United Telecommunications Corp, China Telecom Corp, China Netcom Corp Ltd, China Railway Communication Co Ltd and China Satellite Communications Corp will launch tests for TD-SCDMA (Time Division-Synchronous Code Division Multiple Access) technology, a home-grown 3G technology, in Shanghai, Beijing, Chongqing and Chengdu next year, to see if the technology can be used commercially.

"These open-air tests will last for about a year and will help the telecom operators to get familiar with the 3G network equipment," said Lou Qingjian, vice director of the ministry.

The telecom operators have declined comment on the tests, insisting the issue was "too sensitive."

Last year, the ministry carried out the country's first 3G technology test in its Beijing lab.

The 3G technology allows users to exchange voice and data more quickly than the current mobile phone technology.

Three technology standards, W-CDMA (wide-band CDMA), CDMA2000 and the home-grown TD-SCDMA, are competing for the Chinese market.

A total of 12 telecommunications equipment makers will supply necessary equipment for the tests.

They include Shenzhen-based ZTE Corp, Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and Germany's Siemens AG.

Some of the six operators are also testing the two foreign-controlled 3G technology standards.

"Unlike its foreign counterparts, TD-SCDMA has never been put into commercial use.

The government wants telecom operators to use and improve the related technologies, before foreign competitors enter," said Li Dongping, an analyst with CCID Consulting Co Ltd.

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