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China Approves Foreign 3G Standards
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China's Ministry of Information Industry approved Wednesday the use of European and American standards for third generation (3G) mobile phones that are rivals to China's homegrown TD-SCDMA.

"The three world standards will all be used in China," said Yang Peifang, secretary general of the ministry's telecommunication economist panel.

China's homegrown TD-SCDMA has been called the "Chinese 3G standard", WCDMA is European and CDMA2000 is American.

By adding the two foreign standards to the Chinese market, the government has consolidated its "technology neutral" stance and offered an open market for different technologies, said analysts.

"The introduction of the other two standards will help improve TD-SCDMA," said Yang.

China's 3G development depends primarily on strong demand for mobile data processing functions involving multimedia solutions and internet connections.

China's major four operators -- China Netcom, China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom -- have started training 3G talents, constituting a war chest and making technological preparations for a smooth transition from the existing mobile telecom networks or PHS networks to 3G.

China's homegrown technology for third generation mobile communication passed a series of tests organized by the ministry last year.

A ministry report said base stations and handsets based on TD-SCDMA are all qualified after three years of tests. Key TD-SCDMA technologies and products meet 3G service requirements.

"We will let operators choose which standard they want to use. But the government will decide how many 3G licenses are issued," said Xi Guohua, Vice Minister of Information Industry.

The government has promised to provide 3G mobile communications services in time for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Analysts said the homegrown standard is most likely to get the first license.

(Xinhua News Agency May 17, 2007)

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