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Olympics spur on high-tech sector
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Mobile communications, next generation networks, digital television and RFID are major information technologies to be fueled by the Beijing Olympic Games 2008, said a Beijing-based research firm.


The technologies, covering energy-efficient, high-speed and wireless Internet and improved security, will become popular after the sports event this year, according to CCID Consulting, a research firm authorized by the Ministry of Information Industry.


"The Olympics is the engine to quicken development of the promising technologies. The various applications include ticketing," CCID said in a recent note.


The 3.5G network for mobile communications, which supports high-speed data services like TV and video conferencing on handsets, will be adopted around the stadiums, along with wireless Internet access services based on Wi-Fi and WiMax, according to Beijing officials.


China Mobile invested about 30 billion yuan (US$4.04 billion) on homegrown 3G networks in several cities where Olympic events will be held.


China Mobile is expected to provide trial TD-SCDMA (time division-synchronous code division multiple access) services in the cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen this year.


China will launch a special program to develop the technology for a "next-generation broadband wireless mobile communication network" in 2008, said Wang Xudong, the minister of MII.


China Netcom, the country's second biggest fixed-line phone carrier with a strong position in the northern regions, including Beijing, invested more than 10 billion yuan, or 40 percent-plus of its annual capital spending, in 2007 on broadband upgrades to establish next generation networks, according to Zuo Xunsheng, the company's president.


"Broadband, the Olympics and globalization are our three strategies now," Zuo said.


RFID, or radio frequency identification technologies, will be used in e-ticketing, identity recognition, food safety and product tracking systems during the Olympics, according to CCID.


US-based Unisys Corp has been selected to provide electronic-ticketing systems for Beijing's tourist sites. Based on touch-less technology, visitors will be able to walk into sites without ticket checking.


(Shanghai Daily January 2, 2008)


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