China's leaders cite global financial crisis as reason for moving on 3G licenses

Could China become the savior for the mobile infrastructure industry? Spending among operators is down, and the financials of major infrastructure players like Alcatel Lucent and Nortel are terrible. But new reports indicated the Chinese government is expected to issue long-awaited licenses for 3G services by the beginning of 2009 with the expectation that it will generate $29.1 billion in investments from the three operators.

Industry players, no doubt, have kept their fingers crossed as rumors that the licenses would be awarded continually surfaced with no action over the years. Now Li Yizhong, minister for industry and information technology, said the licensing decision was a "very significant" response to the global financial crisis.

Market leader China Mobile will be granted a licenses for China's homegrown standard, TD-SCDMA, while China Unicom will receive a license for W-CDMA technology. China Telecom, which doesn't operate a network, will be granted a license for CDMA2000 technology.

For more:
- read the Financial Times

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