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王旭东:08年北京奥运会将提供3G服务
[ 2006-12-05 09:16 ]

国内处于胶着状态的3G牌照和运营商重组,成为2006电信展上的焦点话题。信息产业部部长王旭东表示,中国目前没有考虑电信企业重组的问题,3G牌照发放虽无具体时间表,但会依据技术程度和市场发育情况很快出台。王旭东保证,2008年奥运会时,将提供3G服务,以使用户可以通过3G观看奥运会。 

 

 

A model displays a 3G mobile phone set manufactured by a mainland telecom firm at the world telecom show in Hong Kong December 4, 2006. A Chinese telecom official said China will soon award 3G licences to operators. [newsphoto]

China could "very soon" award domestic telecom operators licences to build 3G (third generation) mobile phone networks, the country's top telecom official said yesterday. 

"I cannot provide a specific timetable, but it could happen very soon," Wang Xudong, minister of information industry, told reporters at the ITU Telecom World 2006 being held in Hong Kong.

Wang reiterated a commitment to enable operators to offer 3G services during the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, saying it is "well-founded and feasible."

3G services enable video calls, faster data downloading speed and mobile Internet access.

Wang said operators would be given enough time to deploy 3G networks. "The build-out of networks and the following trial operations could take some time."

Industry observers estimate that setting up networks and trial operations could take at least one year before operators can formally roll out services to consumers.

As a result, some believe licences could be handed out in the first quarter next year; and China Netcom (Hong Kong) CEO Zuo Xunsheng said at the expo that it could be as early as February.

The acceleration of the 3G licensing process could be a shot in the arm for major telecoms companies, especially equipment and handset makers, which have invested heavily in 3G-related research and development.

The building of the 3G networks could unleash purchase orders worth tens of billions of dollars but Wang suggested the windfall might be smaller than many expect.

"It might not be feasible (for operators) to build national 3G networks immediately," he said. Some analysts expect regulators to allow operators to first build networks in select cities such as Beijing and Shanghai.

Wang would not specify how many 3G licences would be handed out. There are four major telecoms operators in the country and analysts believe four licences could result in excessive competition while fewer than three could curb competition.

"Government bodies are studying how many licences, three or four, are needed (to be awarded)," said Wang.

An industry restructuring has been looming in China's telecom sector, which might see the government consolidate the top four operators into three while awarding 3G licences.

(Agencies)

Vocabulary:

feasible
:切实可行的

video calls:视频通话

handset makers:手机制造商

(英语点津陈蓓编辑)

 
 
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