China reportedly is ready to issue 3G licenses after six years of promises and delays. While announcing it plans to restructure China's telecom service providers, China's regulators also announced that three 3G licenses will be granted once the restructuring is complete.
The Chinese government has been delaying the 3G process in a bid to get its home-grown standard, TD-SCDMA, up to par with WCDMA and CDMA 1xEV-DO. To date, the country's carriers have spent a significant amount of money on TD-SCDMA trials and may possibly offer services during the 2008 Olympic Games this summer.
The impending 3G awards should be good news for the world's vendors, which have been banking on China opening up the market to 3G and bolstering their business. There should be some aggressive fighting for contracts, especially when Huawei and ZTE have been fighting for market share outside of China.
For more about China's 3G plans:
- read this Unstrung article
- Analyst: China's 3G still years away. See this China 3G story
- China to begin home-grown 3G technology trial. See this TD-SCDMA story
- China continues to hedge on 3G. See this 3G in China story