FASTTAKES: China Unicom, Link2One, Zong, Qualcomm

China Unicom has launched the first round of bidding in its search for providers of W-CDMA equipment. Ericsson, Huawei, ZTE, Nokia Siemens and Alcatel-Lucent are all interested in placing a bid, according to Xinhua.

Link2One has signed 22 operators onto its GSM roaming hub, the company announced yesterday. So far no Asian operators have signed on, but Link2One has been showcasing its services all over the world, and has also secured pro-tempore commitments from 70 operators.

Zong has expanded its Pakistani GSM network, and now covers the region of Pasni. The China Mobile subsidiary - which plans to build Pakistan's largest GSM network - has so far built 3,000 network cell sites and plans to have over 10,000 sites operational by the end of next year.

Qualcomm's president has warned South-east Asian governments they must allocate more radio spectrum if they expect to deploy viable 3G services. Speaking to the South China Morning Post, he warned that the 5-10Mhz of spectrum operators in some Asian countries are being allocated is simply not enough to work with.

Legal music downloads have surpassed illegal downloads for the first time ever in the UK, according to a survey conducted by Entertainment Media Research. Of the over 1,500 consumers interviewed, 51% had legally purchased digital music, but only 43% had illegally downloaded a song.