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China Unicom to scrap mobile plan
Posted: 04-Jun-2000 [Source: FT]

[China Unicom changed its mind on its plan to deploy CDMA technology according to a Sunday China Daily newspaper report.]

By James Kynge in Beijing -- "China Unicom, the Chinese telecoms company hoping to list this month, has scrapped plans to build a CDMA network - marking a setback for Qualcomm, a US company, that holds most of the intellectual property rights in CDMA technology.

"The official China Daily newspaper quoted a senior Unicom official on Sunday as saying that the company had no intention of deploying the current generation of CDMA technology. It had planned to start rolling out a nationwide mobile network with a designed capacity of 50m lines this year, requiring an investment of more than Rmb100bn ($12bn).

"The senior Unicom official was quoted as holding out some hope that the company would roll out a third generation network based on CDMA 2000, a US technology developed by Qualcomm. But the official noted that CDMA 2000 would not be ready for commercial rollout before around 2003.

"Telecommications analysts said that Unicom's history of broken promises undermined the credibility of future statements of intent. The company this year wound down some 46 co-operative telecoms services ventures with foreign companies. Compensation given to the foreign partners in the majority of cases fell short of the amounts invested.

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