China Telecom Becomes World’s Largest CDMA Carrier

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China Telecom, the second largest Chinese carrier announced to procure more than 40 million CDMA phones in a concerted effort with channels and retail chains like Suning and Gome. The move is a positive sign for China’s 3G market which seems to be plateaued.

Yang Xiaowei, deputy GM of the carrier said that as of this April there’re more than 400 firms in the CDMA upstream segment of value chain, including 200 phone manufacturers which contributed over 1300 terminals.

China Telecom now owns the largest CDMA network in the planet by subscribers, which reached 136 million in this March.

Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs once predicted that China will become the largest smartphone market in 2012 with more than 140 million sold, in comparison with the 137 million in North America and 115 million in Europe.

Wang Xiaochu, chairman of China Telecom said last week that China’s 3G market has reached an inflection point, the huge 2G users will be getting started moving toward 3G.

As China Telecom and China Unicom are scrambling for the market, China Mobile, the de facto king of 2G services with a market share of 72% which lost its dominance in 3G area, is betting big on 4G, the next generation of wireless. China Mobile raised in an internal conference last year that the company would make the transition from TD-SCDMA to TD-LTE in five years,

China’s three SOE carriers all carry their own 3G technology, for China Telecom it’s CDMA2000, for China Unicom it’s WCDMA, which is more mature, while for China Mobile, it’s TD-SCDMA, a home-grown wireless technology.

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