A Chinese official reiterated Saturday the government's commitment that China would offer 3G service in 2008 when the Olympic Games will be held.
"We would observe our commitment to the International Olympic Committee and provide 3G service in cities where Olympic games are held," said Xu Qin, director of hi-tech industrial department with the National Development and Reform Commission.
Minister of Information Industry Wang Xudong said last year that 3G service would be available during the 2008 Olympics in China. Experts believe that, in a bid to realize that goal, the government should issue the licenses no later than the end of this year.
However, the ongoing final trial of China's home-grown technology TD-SCDMA made the prospect for China's 3G unclear.
"TD-SCDMA is one of the international standards recognized by the International Telecom Union and is developing smoothly," said Xu, adding that the technology and related products are getting mature. But the official did not reveal any detailed schedule and plan.
The official also said that China would participate in research of Beyond-3G or 4G technologies but he warned of possible challenges for new generation of mobile technologies.
As mobile communication strives for faster transmission speed, visual service would be one of the important applications for 4G. But it would face competition from TV broadcast and may be hard to get popular, said Xu.
(Xinhua News Agency November 5, 2006)