China Supports Unicom in Telecom Competition|
Saturday, May 27, 2000, updated at 11:02(GMT+8)
A high-ranking official from the Ministry of Information Industry said that the government will continue to support the development of China Unicom to help it become a formidable competitor in the telecom market.
"We will give China Unicom more preferential policies to help it grow," said Zhang Chunjiang, vice-minister of the information industry, in an interview with Xinhua.
He noted that China Unicom is a new company on the market and needs support. "Otherwise, it is difficult for it to grow up."
China Unicom is now allowed to provide telecom services at a price 10 to 20 percent lower than that of its major competitors, China Telecom and China Mobile. It is also exempted from providing universal services in the country.
"But when effective competition really takes shape, or when China Unicom and China Mobile have a similar market share, these preferential measures will be abolished," Zhang said.
China Mobile, the country's largest mobile telecom operator, currently boasts 90 percent of the mobile market share.
Zhang also noted that the best way to support China Unicom is to let it grow and run the Code Division Multiple Address (CDMA) network.
China has 1.25 billion people, which is a large potential mobile phone market, he said, adding that the CDMA is one of the two trends in the development of the third-generation mobile telecom.
Experts agree that the evolution of the third-generation mobile technology has moved in two directions, from GSM to Wide-CDMA and from CDMA to CDMA2000.
Zhang noted that China has started following the research and developments of the third-generation mobile network, and a special team has been set up in the ministry to take charge of license issuing and fluency using for the third generation.
Within the year, the team will make public the requirements for the operation of the third-generation mobile network for open assessment.
With China's market continuing to open, keen competition has emerged in the telecom sector. But only China Unicom is entitled to operate a wide range of businesses, from fixed phones and mobile phones to data and paging. China Telecom is now engaged in fixed phone operations, and China Mobile includes mobile telecom services.