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Development and Application of 3G in China
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Ladies and Gentlemen,

Since the first TACS analog cellular phone network was established and put into operation in China in 1987, we have witnessed more than 20 years of fast mobile telecommunication development in China. After many years of exploration and reforms in this field, three large telecommunication operation companies -- China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom -- now dominate the Chinese market and offer diversified telecommunication services to their customers. By the end of last May, there had been 680 million mobile phone users in China, including 488 million for China Mobile, 36.91 million for China Telecom and 140 million for China Unicom.

The booming Chinese telecommunication market shows an obvious growing demand for 3G. In January 2009, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology issued three 3G licenses for China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom. These were the TD-SCDMA license with Chinese intellectual property right for China Mobile, the CDMA2000 license for China Telecom and the WCDMA license for China Unicom. This indicates that China has entered its 3G era.

What does 3G actually mean for us? What does it mean for the consumers? What are the consumers expecting from 3G products? What impacts will it have on China's information industry and the Chinese economy?

The rapid development of the information and telecommunication technology in the world not only has constantly brought in new technology, business and application, but also enriched our material and spiritual life. The application of 3G technology will widen bandwidth and increase transmission speed, which will help improve the quality of data and image communications. Diversified multi-media services will be provided to suit the need of different individuals, and more 3G functions for mobiles, such as mobile TV, music download, Internet access and e-commerce, will bring more conveniences to people's life and work.

Technology is a driving engine of the economy, and the development of the information industry, especially the telecommunication industry, is of strategic importance to the Chinese economy. The 3G technology is now commonly considered a leading element of the telecommunication industrial chain which will help to stimulate the domestic market demand.

The issuing of the 3G licenses by the Chinese government in the current global economic situation benefits China's economic construction. It is stated in the Information Industry Revitalization Plan formulated early this year that China will encourage more telecommunication business and service innovations and will enforce the application of information technology in various fields. The intention is to promote China's economic and social development by means of universalizing the information technology.

The upgrading from 2G to 3G technology requires the construction of many new networks and the large-scale upgrading of existing networks and equipment. A new telecommunication industrial chain including 3G network construction, terminal equipment manufacturing, operation service and information service will be formed. From 2009 to 2010, China is expected to invest 280 billion yuan in 3G products and network construction. It is estimated that the growth of China's multi-media industry, e-commerce and cultural creative industries stimulated by the 3G technology will generate at least 2-3 trillion yuan of social investment, eventually leading to the vigorous development of China's information industry.

3G is still new in China. How will China develop this new technology? We shall learn from the 3G development experiences of other countries on the one hand, and ride the trend of future information and telecommunication developments on the other.

The information industry, with Internet as the lead, has penetrated into all aspects of our social and economic life. Starting from 2008, the market demand for laptops began to surpass that of desktops. In the second quarter of 2008, the sales volume of laptops in China increased by 47.5 percent compared with the same period of 2007, a growth rate equivalent to 5 times that of desktops. Meanwhile, the number of Chinese Internet and broadband users has been increasing rapidly, but there is still a big gap between broadband and Internet users, with the former accounting for only one-third of the latter. This indicates that the Internet accessing demands of many users have not been met, and there will be big demand for mobile Internet. As new breakthroughs are made in the Chinese mobile telecommunication, its users will be able to get access to the Internet more conveniently anywhere. This naturally requires that the 3G products in China shall integrate the mobile and Internet functions.

The prospering of the Chinese economy and the advancing of the information technology have motivated consumers' demand for more telecommunication products, and as a result, requirement is raised for the further integration of telecommunication and IT electronic products. Today's mobile phone is not simply a telephone, but also a multi-media tool with camera, video, radio, TV and computer functions. It also serves as a mini-purse, a handy dictionary and a map that can be checked anytime, anywhere. Mobile phone has become a portable media center for individuals, and further development of its terminal technology, mobile communication network technology and application technology will bring more innovations and capabilities of mobile phones as media. Taking advantage of the mobile communication function of 3G products, more service products, including wireless music, mobile newspapers, television, videos and books will be offered, which will enable the mobile phone users to enjoy optimized multi-media services, and these new services will soon be widely spread. Media service application in the mobile phone is the most important trend of 3G products, and will quickly be immersed into people's life in the near future

Not only is China making great efforts to develop 3G products, but many other countries in the world are also exploring this new field of technology. We hope to have more exchanges and communications with other countries in our 3G network construction and technology application.

Last, but by no means least, we sincerely hope to increase exchanges and cooperation between China and the UK in Internet and 3G-product development. We look forward to the conference being a great success.

Speech delivered by Lu Xiangdong, Vice President of China Mobile at U.K. – China Internet Roundtable on 22 July 2009, Beijing

(China.org.cn July 22, 2009)

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