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The purpose of this blog is for my personal use. It serves as my personal diary as I investigate Chinese internet/gaming companies for investment purpose. If you have any comments or disagreement, please give me feedbacks.

Friday, March 28, 2008

China to launch trial of 3G mobile phones

China Mobile (CHL) is going to start the TD-SCDMA commercial trial on 4/1/2008. The following is the news in English and in Chinese.



My last post on WVAS is here:


The Chinese news from sina has a lot more information in them.

TD-SCDMA is a 3G cellular phone standard. The world only have three 3G standards, the WCDMA, the CDMA2000 and TD-SCDMA. WCDMA is the standard developed by Europe (its 2G equivalent is GSM). CDMA2000 is developed by American (its 2G equivalent is CDMA95). TD-SCDMA is developed by China.

It was a tremendous technical break through for China.

Chinese mobile operators don’t like TD-SCDMA. They have good reasons. A cellular phone standard is so complicated, it will be impossible for TD-SCDMA to be even close to the two existing standards in terms of performance and robustness.

Even if Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison are the one invented TD-SCDMA, it will be at least 10 years behind both the WCDMA and CDMA2000.

The only way TD-SCDMA can survive is for the Chinese government to dictate China’s mobile operator to use it.

But to conform to WTO charter, China has to give WCDMA and CDMA2000 level playing field. But if China follows the intend of WTO charter, TD-SCDMA won’t have any chance to survive.

But I guess lawyers have to have some use in them. I think China will do anything and everything to ensure TD-SCDMA will not just survive, but to thrive.

Expert had been predicting this date since 2005. It had been delayed so many times. The date is finally here. So this is a pretty big news.

I think there are several type of companies that will benefit from the wide-spread usage of TD-SCDMA.

First, equipment maker like SPRD will benefit for obvious reason. Second, I think WVAS companies such as KONG and SINA will benefit greatly. The WVAS companies that specialize in WAP will be the winner. KONG is betting it future survival on this date. SINA has been gearing all its web site to be compatible with WAP. For SINA, every story SINA generated have WAP counterparts. Both KONG and SINA had been throwing money into the drain for the past few years just to gear up for the arrival of 3G.

Of course, for the WVAS companies, the mobile operators such as CHL or CHU can throw monkey wrenches into this. But, unlike for SMS where KONG and SINA are just distributor and middlemen, now KONG and SINA will be content generators for the WAP. KONG and SINA will be in a stronger position. In addition, there is talks about China shaking up the mobile operators. That may prove positives to the WVAS companies since the mobile operators will be busying in re-structuring. Also, China will have a new ministry that will handle this function. The charter of the new super ministry can change also. That adds some uncertainties. The power of this industry is so lopsided tilt toward mobile operators such as CHL and CHU, any change to the existing structure can only help the WVAS companies such as KONG and SINA.

But according to sina link above, only 20,000 users will take part in the trial. There is no news of how long the trial will last. Therefore, it will not have any material contribution to all the companies that are discussed here. But in a year time, this could be an exciting growth driver for all the company mentioned here.

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