China Telecom (NYSE: CHA; 0728.HK) officially established its CDMA2000 Handset Design and R&D Industry Alliance in Beijing today. The Alliance, headed by China Telecom deputy GM Yang Xiaowei, has already received applications from 105 companies in the supply chain.
By the end of 2009, China Telecom had worked with CDMA handset design, R&D and manufacturing firms to bring the total number of CDMA handsets available to over 200 from more than 30 in October 2008, when China Telecom took over China Unicom's (NYSE: CHU; 0762.HK; 600050.SH) CDMA network.
Yang added that CDMA terminal sales volume surpassed 32 mln units in 2009, up 400% from 2008. China Telecom recorded 56.09 mln mobile subscribers at the end of 2009, taking up to a 33% share of China's total new mobile subscribers per month. China Telecom aims to add 30 mln mobile subscribers in 2010.
Editor's Note: During the Alliance event in Beijing, China Telecom announced that, to make up for its lack of mid-range priced handsets, it will order custom handsets in the RMB 700 to RMB 2,000 price range. The plan calls for several terminal brand manufacturers to develop handsets for segments with the above-mentioned price range. China Telecom will provide subsidies in order to offset development risks, reduce procurement costs and attract more developers and designers to the CDMA terminal production project.