China Mobile will launch 3G phones that cost less than 1,000 yuan (US$147) by using United States-based Marvell's multi-function chipset, the chief executive and president of the American firm said yesterday in Shanghai.
At present, China Mobile's Ophone handsets that use the home-developed 3G standard TD-SCDMA (time division-synchronous code division multiple access), often cost 3,000 yuan or more.
Marvell, which purchased the handset chip design business from Intel, has tied up with China Mobile to design chips for the Ophone based on the TD-SCDMA as it seeks to penetrate the world's largest mobile phone market.
The use of the Marvell's chipset will enable the telco to sell phones priced at around 1,000 yuan or slightly below, said Bill Huang, general manager of China Mobile Research Institute.
The two firms have cooperated for two years, said Sehat Sutardja, Marvell's president and CEO.
In January, China issued 3G, or third generation, licenses and the high-speed network allows users to access services, like video calling and film downloads, onto their phones.
Unlike rivals China Telecom and China Unicom, China Mobile's offering of 3G handsets is limited as it is using the less mature home-developed 3G technology, analysts said.
Globally, Marvell's clients include Apple, Research in Motion (the maker of BlackBerry), Cisco and China-based Huawei.
Besides a research center in Shanghai, Marvell plans to open a new one in Hefei, Anhui Province.
(Shanghai Daily September 8, 2009)