China Netcom ready to test TD-SCDMA

Chinese news agency Interfax reported that fixed-line operator China Netcom is expected to begin testing TD-SCDMA handsets in the city of Qingdao this month. And CEO Zuo Xunsheng said Netcom plans to begin commercial service by the first quarter 2008, even though the government has yet to issue licenses.

China's issuance of 3G licenses has been continually delayed during the last few years as the government continues to push its home-grown TD-SCDMA standard. If TD-SCDMA was being developed in any free-market society, it would be dead by now, but the government keeps plugging along with its own standard. The question is: Is it ready to compete with HSDPA and 1xEV-DO?

To read more about China's 3G plans:
- check out this article from Unstrung
- take a look at this report from Interfax (sub. req.)