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Unicom Hosts Carriers Summit
Intensified cooperation and value-added service were the two most frequent words spoken by world-leading CDMA (code division multiple access) operators yesterday at the CDMA Operators Summit in Beijing.

Initiated by China Unicom, the one-day event attracted more than 10 leading CDMA operators and developers worldwide.

"Advancing CDMA international roaming and intensifying cooperation in CDMA standardization will help propel CDMA deployment," said Wang Jianzhou, president of China Unicom.

Since it signed up to the CDMA project in January, China Unicom has so far recruited 6.3 million CDMA users.

"That means our yearly target of 7 million users is able to be realized," Wang said, attributing the increasing users to CDMA's outstanding features such as good voice quality, high privacy and strong wireless data communications capability.

"We are currently upgrading our CDMA network from 2G (second generation of mobile telecommunications) to 2.5G, or CDMA2000 1X, as well as expanding our system capacity," said Wang.

"All the work is expected to be completed before the end of the second quarter of next year and the capacity for CDMA subscribers will be expanded from the current 15 million to 30 million," he added.

CDMA2000 1X will provide better service to mobile phone users in terms of more value-added features such as video and photo mail.

"Technology standards, roaming and wireless Internet are the three key factors for the development of CDMA," said Moon Soo-pyo, president and chief operation officer of SK Telecom.

Irwin Jacobs, chairman and chief executive officer of Qualcomm Inc, said: "We will continue to expand Qualcomm operations here in China."

Last week, Qualcomm Inc and China Unicom, announced that they had signed an agreement to create a joint venture that will develop Qualcomm's Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless (BREW) platform in China.

The joint venture will capitalize on the technical advantages of BREW technology, the competitive advantages of CDMA in wireless data and the versatile operating capabilities of China Unicom.

"We are in the process of organizing the joint venture, trying to select the people. We would like it to be available early next year to support the launch of China Unicom's CDMA2000 1X service," Jacob said on the sidelines of the summit.

As for the development of dual-mode handsets, which can shift from CDMA to GSM (global system for mobile communications) and vice versa, Jacob said: "The handsets, automatically, will handle the roaming to different regions either in GSM or CDMA and will therefore offer much greater flexibility for the operators and customers."

(China Daily December 13, 2002)

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