China has finally deployed the home-grown 3G standard TD-SCDMA (Time Division-Synchronous Code Division Multiple Access) today, April 1st 2008. Shanghai Daily reports that China Mobile has launched trial service in eight cities, including Shanghai, Beijing, Tianjin, Shenzhen and Guangzhou.
The world's biggest carrier China Mobile will test the next generation standard by issuing 20,000 free 3G phones and 800 Yuan (USD 114.28) fees per month to test users in return for their feedback. A total of 60,000 3G phones and 15,000 data cards will be available throughout China, the report said.
3G standards are meant to support features such as video and Internet access. To enjoy services like mobile TV, video conferencing and handset sock services a 3G mobile phone and a 3G SIM care are a prerequisite. China Mobile has purchased 30,000 TD-SCDMA phones and 10,000 data cards. Handset firms ZTE, Lenovo, LG, Samsung, AMOI and Datang have won a public bid to provide the equipment. The move is just a preparation for possible large-scale purchases in the future, China Mobile said in a previous statement.
The commercial trial will move the market closer to the long-anticipated rollout of new services and hasten the process for the country's long awaited issuing of 3G licenses. Beijing hopes to have a 3G network in place before the Beijing Olympics open in August, the report said.
With some 520 million subscribers China hast the world's biggest number of mobile phone users.