China Mobile to issue TD-SCDMA tender after Olympics

China Mobile Communications is expected to issue a tender for the second phase of its TD-SCDMA rollout but will wait until the Olympic games are over. According to an article in the South China Morning Post, China Mobile is being forced to stick with the homegrown technology, despite reports that China Mobile isn't so enamored with it. Meanwhile, rivals China Unicom and China Telecom will be allowed to use EV-DO or WCDMA to compete in the 3G market.

The 2008 Olympics are also expected to play a big role in TD-SCDMA's future, as the country looks to showcase its 3G capabilities there and demonstrate to the world how modern it is. China Mobile has been trialing TD-SCDMA in eight cities since April 1.

"China Mobile will not expand the network to other cities before the Olympics," said Fok Tung-ling, chairman of Comba Telecom Systems Holdings, one of the equipment suppliers to China Mobile's TD-SCDMA networks. He added that the "next phase of the TD-SCDMA network expansion will not be limited to the existing 10 cities, and is likely to be aggressively rolled out on the mainland."

During its initial launch, 60,000 dual-mode TD-SCDMA/GSM handsets and 15,000 data cards will be on sale in China Mobile's TD-SCDMA experience shops, ranging in brands such as Samsung, LG, Hisense, Lenovo, ZTE, and Postcom. These handsets are in the mid- to high-end range with a built-in camera, wide screen and multimedia applications. China Mobile is believed to be selling these phones for subsidized prices between $286 and $572.

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