China Telecom began to release third generation, or 3G, cell phone numbers in Beijing on Friday. Users in the capital can now register for its 3G network service using valid ID cards.
On the first day of the commercial launch, China Telecom sales centers saw many customers subscribing to the new service.
The company says the first batch of 3G numbers are mainly for Internet services, including high-speed web access.
Chen Lin, Customer Service Staff of China Telecom Beijing Branch, said, "Its band speed is over 20 times that of 2G services, with a maximum speed of 3.1 megabits per second."
Subscribers can enjoy wireless Internet access with a 3G cell phone and a network card. All the company's old subscribers can upgrade to the 3G network without changing numbers.
Chen Lin said, "For those 2G subscribers who pay monthly, they only need to change to a 3G package. The subscribers who pay yearly need to come into our sales centers, and we will transfer the rest of the money in their account to 3G services."
China Telecom currently provides 3 different packages for their 3G Internet services in Beijing, ranging from 160 yuan to 300 yuan per month. Its 3G network covers over 100 large and medium-sized cities nationwide. And the number of cities is expected to increase to 340 by the end of July.
(CCTV April 4, 2009)