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China Telecom speeds up building of 3G network
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China Telecom has completed the first phase construction of its 3G network nationwide to cover all county-level or above cities, almost six months ahead of the original schedule, the country's No. 3 mobile carrier said yesterday.

The telco's Shanghai branch aims to attract a base of 5.5 million mobile users, more than double the current number of 2.13 million, said Zhang Weihua, Shanghai Telecom's general manager.

China Telecom's 3G signals now cover 2,055 counties or county-level cities nationwide, as well as more than 6,000 villages in the eastern coastal region, said Wang Yongzhen, the telco's marketing director.

"We have boosted the construction speed, and it's far ahead of the original schedule by the end of this year," Wang said in Shanghai.

In January, China issued 3G licenses to China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom.

China Telecom's CDMA 2000 network is 20 times faster than the 2G network. It's also the fastest among the three 3G networks in China, experts said.

China Telecom has also set up a WLAN (wireless local area network) in the universities to attract students.

Over two years, China will invest 450 billion yuan (US$66 billion) directly on 3G infrastructure, which is likely to spark 1 trillion yuan of spending to boost the economy, Minister of Industry and Information Technology Li Yizhong said.

(Shanghai Daily August 14, 2009)

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