Current statistics up till last November:
There are three mobile operators in China nowadays after the major re-organization of Chinese telecom market in 2008. 3G networks started commercial operation in China in 2009.
- China Mobile–the largest one, has around 515 millions GSM subscribers, 3 million TD-SCDMA subscribers;
- China Unicom–second place, has 144.2 millions GSM users, and 2 million WCDMA users (iPhone users are less than 5% of total number);
- China Telecom–the weakest one, used to be a fixed line operator, has recently acquired the CDMA operation from China Unicom in 2008. It now owns less than 50 millions CDMA users, and roughly 4.8 millions CDMA2000 users.
In total, there are approximately 700 millions 2G users and 10 millions 3G users by the end of 2009.
Future trends of 3G development in China:
During the First year of 3G in China, all operators have been pushing the technology very hard through marketing, new brand, 3G notebook, iphone, etc. However, 3G has not yet reach the point of out break.
China Mobile has made some achievement through its G3 internet notebook, the use of subsidies. But the products chain of TD-SCDMA need more time to grow mature. Similarly, China Telecom also suffers from the lack of attractive service and products based on CDMA2000. On the other hand, with WCDMA, China Unicom has the most extensive industrial chain and thus would have the biggest potential in the coming years.
While more applications and more smartphones coming to play in the 3G market, challenges have be raised against the development of Mobile Internet in China, as the the government has now put much more stringent control over it. Small companies that could otherwise provide personalized or other interesting services would become harder to survive, and this trends might hinder the outbreak of 3G industry.
Anyhow, the number of 3G subscribers is expected to grow by 12 million during the first half of 2010, and reaches 48 million by the end of this year.
One additional note, TD-LTE experimental network will be deployed in Shanghai during the World Expo this year.
oops, it is in Chinese…:P