Sina Tech, 8/13/09
Li Yizhong, head of China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), has estimated investment of RMB 450 bln in 3G development over the next two and a half to three years. Li expects the three telecom operators will reach at least 50 mln 3G subscribers each in that time, while aiming for 80 mln. Li added that a key reason all three operators were granted 3G licenses was to increase competition and thereby spur China Mobile's (NYSE: CHL; 0941.HK) development of TD-SCDMA. China Mobile had originally projected TD-SDCMA subscribers to reach 10-20 mln over two years, but the increased competition forced the operator to change tactics and set new targets of 50-80 mln subscribers.
Editor's Note: At the beginning of this year, the MIIT stated that the three operators would invest a total of approximately RMB 400 bln into 3G construction over the next three years. All three operators have set targets for 3G users at around 50 mln each over the same period. For more background, please see "Chinese Operators to Invest RMB 400 Bln in 3G over 3 Years", MD 1/22/09 issue.
In late July it was reported that China Mobile had dropped its internal year-end 2009 target for total TD-SCDMA subscribers from 10 mln to 3 mln, due to slow initial user uptake. For more background, please see "China Mobile, Unicom Reveal 3G Subscriber Targets", MD 7/21/09 issue.