The mobile data market is expected to boom in China over the next two years, experts said in Beijing Wednesday.
At the 4th China International Summit on CDMA Wireless Communications, Huang Li, a senior marketing supervisor with Motorola said a survey conducted by Motorola shows that the mobile data market will take hold in China's provinces and municipalities with developed telecommunications within the next two years, while the boom for the interior market will follow a year later.
Over the past two years, broadband access has become the vogue in China. Many telecom users have eagerly invested in the fixed broadband access network because they believe it has excellent prospects and will be profitable. The mobile broadband market, however, is standing still.
Wang Jianzhou, president of China Unicom, the sole operator of CDMA in China, said China Unicom has joined with Motorola and Huawei to conduct a trial operation of CDMA1X, a 2.75G mobile broadband technology.
CDMA1X will offer a broadband of 154K, which is not only capable of providing a high quality voice service, but also of supporting data applications, such as video messaging, on-line mapping, downloading of MP3, e-mail, VOD and mobile e-commerce.
Huang said a market survey shows that although different applications are popular in different areas, such services as messaging, entertainment and mobile e-commerce are the most popular on average.
Huang called for high quality data services to facilitate the development of the mobile data market, citing the development of " i-Mode" of NTT DoCoMo as an example.
In 1998, NTT DoCoMo initiated "i-Mode", setting off a revolutionary boom in mobile telecommunications in Japan among the i-Mode users who surf the Internet, receive e-mail and play interactive e-games on mobile handsets.
A value-added telecom service provider said that some telecom service providers are experienced in running fixed networks and they can easily transfer their services over the mobile data market. He said that the mobile data operator should play the key role in developing the market.
Huang listed the key factors for the success of the mobile data market in China as attractive content, a high-speed and secure network and suitable equipment, such as handsets and PDAs.
"One more important factor is affordable price. If the price is too high, the general public may hesitate to enter into the (mobile data) market," Huang added.
(Xinhua News Agency March 14, 2002)