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Rumor: China Telecom Testing CDMA iPhone 4 OTA Systems

Guangzhou Daily, 3/30/11

According to a source within Guangdong Telecom, China Telecom (NYSE: CHA; 0728.HK) has applied for Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) approval to use Over-The-Air (OTA) technology to change embedded phone numbers on the CDMA version of the iPhone 4. China Telecom currently has a set of CDMA iPhone 4 smartphones for testing compatibility with China Telecom services and applications.

Including Guangdong Telecom, there are now 7-8 provincial-level subsidiaries with OTA capabilities. However, the source claims, the technology remains confined to testing laboratories and has yet to see any large-scale deployment.

Once an agreement over introducing the iPhone 4 is reached between China Telecom and Apple, all that remains is a simple upgrade to all existing mobile phone base stations, after which the aforementioned 7-8 provincial operators will be able to deploy OTA phone number services, and users will need only input their mobile phone number and password to embed the number on a handset.

A technician at Guangdong Telecom has revealed that while there are no major barriers preventing use of embedded SIM card devices, the associated installation costs range in the millions of RMB.

Keywords: China Telecom iPhone handset upgrade wireless MIIT Apple CDMA SIM card 0728.HK CHA network construction smartphone

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