China should issue 3G licenses soon in order for mobile operators to take advantages of the increased popularity of mobile broadband services, European-based lobby group UMTS Forum has urged.
"Definitely we urge not to wait too much because the experience curve (of mobile broadband) is being taken here and there which shows that 3G is no longer a project but a commercial reality," said Jean-Pierre BienaimÃ©, chairman of the UMTS Forum.
He said consumers are now more comfortable with mobile broadband services, thanks to the advent of HSDPA. Already more than 130 mobile carriers have deployed HSDPA commercially, which can deliver mobile data at speeds of up to 7.2 Mbps.
With China putting 3G licensing on hold for at least another year to give more time for the development of Beijing-backed TD-SCDMA technology, some even speculate that China will skip 3G and go directly to 4G.
BienaimÃ© said Chinese mobile carriers can next year immediately deploy HSDPA instead of W-CDMA in order to have the learning curves of mobile broadband and preparing for next generation.
"It's important for China to take the first step," he said. "I think when TD-SCDMA is ready the 3G licensing process will happen rapidly."The fact that here is a convergence between TD-SCDMA and W-CDMA, because TD-SCDMA supporters are also targeting LTE as next step of the evolution also makes sense for Chinese operators to deploy HSDPA, he added.