Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on January 18, 2008
Nobody, according to ABI Research. At least, nobody who’s boss isn’t a Chinese government official. While at least one of China’s state-controlled telecom operators is sure to offer service using the country’s own 3G standard, in a report that came out last week (which I missed until now but just saw thanks to EETimes), ABI analyst Hwai Lin Khor predicts “TD-SCDMA is likely to face an uphill battle outside of Mainland China, even in Hong Kong.”
Beijing has endlessly delayed the launch of 3G in China because Beijing has wanted to promote the development of a home-grown alternative to the two 3G standards common everywhere else in the world. Since the work on the Chinese standard, TD-SCDMA, has taken a lot longer than anybody in the government seems to have expected, the 3G story in China has been one of delay after delay, with people in the industry hopefully predicting that this time things would be different and the government would finally get moving and give out 3G licenses to Chinese telecom operators. Well, we’re now in January of 2008 and not only does China not have 3G service, it still hasn’t even awarded 3G licenses. This was supposed to be China’s flagship project to prove to the world that the country could be an innovation leader. If so, let’s hope for China’s sake that the other projects go a lot better.
That said, TD-SCDMA service is finally getting started, in fits and starts. There are lots of trials underway nationwide and some people (in one of those examples of hope triumphing over experience) believe that this is really the year when Beijing will take action. “China’s TD-SCDMA ecosystem is ready,” reports ABI. Let’s see.