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Telecom dials up investment for 3G bid
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China Unicom will spend as much as 100 billion yuan (US$14.7 billion) to expand its network to prepare for high-speed third-generation services in China, the country's second-biggest mobile-phone operator said yesterday.

China Unicom's investment budget will cover spending in 2009 and 2010, the Beijing-based telco said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange yesterday.

China Unicom, listed in Shanghai and Hong Kong, expects to gain a license for 3G mobile phone services when it completes its acquisition of China Netcom under an industry revamp that is due to complete at the end of this year.

China Telecom will pay 44.8 billion yuan for China Unicom's CDMA (code division multiple access) business, also part of the government revamp.

Three 3G licenses will be issued when the industry restructuring is completed, the government said in May.

China Unicom shares dropped 2.5 percent to 5.85 yuan yesterday against a 0.44-percent fall in the key Shanghai stock index.

China Telecom, the country's No. 1 fixed-line phone operator, will invest 80 billion yuan on the wireless network business that it will acquire from Unicom.

(Shanghai Daily August 14, 2008)

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