by Carlo Longino

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China's 3G Standard All Set To Underwhelm

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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  • identicon
    Alaric, 24 Oct 2005 @ 5:18pm

    TD-SCDMA is not too late

    3G is deployed in Europe, Japan and a few minor other places. Cingular is now deploying it as well in the US. China is big enough to support its own standard and TD-SCDMA will be ready to go by next year anyway. Very few african, Latin American, Central Asian, Asian and even eastern european nations will have 3G up and running by 2007. Some could use TD-SCDMA though i doubt many will. It does not really matter anyway. China is big enough on its own.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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