Nokia to start selling 3G phones to China in 2008

Nokia expects to start selling phones for China's 3G mobile technology TD-SCDMA in the first half of next year, when the network is up and running, a Reuters report said.

The Reuters report quoted Thomas Jonsson, Nokia's spokesman in China, as saying that "currently we see that there will be market need from the first half of 2008. Hence, we will have some kind of offering on the market.'

Beijing earlier this year extended pre-commercial testing of its home-grown TD-SCDMA standard to 10 cities from the original five, the Reuters report said.

Analysts say that trial extension is in effect a soft launch or roll-out that favors local gearmakers, who have more of an edge in TD-SCDMA, versus foreign firms who are more focused on the better-established W-CDMA and cdma2000 standards, the report said.

With a potential $10 billion of network equipment orders in the balance, global players such as Nokia Siemens Networks, Motorola, Ericsson and Nortel Networks have jumped onto TD-SCDMA, the report said.

The industry is still waiting for the official launch of 3G licenses in China, which analysts say could be pushed back until 2008, the report further said.