China Mobile is trialing the homegrown Chinese mobile TD-SCDMA 3G standard this week, marking a major step towards the anticipated launch of 3G services and handsets. China has given no timeframe for the trial, however it hopes the standard will be fully operational in time for the Beijing Olympics.
Trials begin in Beijing and seven other major Chinese cities from Apr 1, on 20,000 mobiles and 5,000 data cards distributed by China Mobile. Chinese authorities, which are currently overhauling the state-run telecoms industry, declined to comment how the trial’s result would affect telecoms legislation and the awarding of licenses.
The launch of 3G TD-SCDMA is expected to see an explosion of activity in the Chinese mobile market, with billions of dollars spent on equipment and services to bring local 3G to the country’s population.
Chinese authorities have been working on a homegrown standard since 2001, aiming to support local operators and negate the need to pay for international licensing fees for the CDMA-2000 and WCDMA standards in use elsewhere.