The biggest story of Chinese 3G has been the wait. While foreign vendors have been drooling for years at the thought of the huge amount of spending to build out 3G networks in the country, regulators have been happy to wait -- presumably until the country's homegrown 3G standard, TD-SCDMA, was ready for market. Now, comes further word that yes, TD-SCDMA still isn't ready for prime time. Telecom Asia reports that it not perform well in its latest round of tests, and sits at roughly the same point as WCDMA did four years ago -- but without the same widespread industry support. Major foreign vendors are still shying away, and Chinese operators aren't too keen on it either. Should just one carrier use it -- the likely scenario -- any cost benefits that are supposed to be delivered by the lack of Western ownership of IP will quickly disappear without economies of scale. But, the propaganda continues, with some in the country even saying China should just ignore international standards and go its own way. For what it's worth, the CEO of Ericsson expects China to issue 3G licenses in the first quarter of next year. Don't bet on it, though -- the country's regulators seem to be taking time management lessons from the FCC.
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