Friday, January 16, 2009
China Mobile to encourage the uptake of TD-SCDMA by investing in $1.5 billion in subsidies
China Mobile will provide 10 billion yuan ($1.46 billion) in handsets subsidies for homegrown TD-SCDMA technology. According to China Mobile, they are also considering other possibilities, such as applying a subsidy to the cost of manufacturing the handsets, or offering cheaper voice usage fees in an attempt to boost sales.
China Mobile already has signed 330,000 customers to its “trial” TD network and is expected to launch a nationwide service in the middle of the year. The carrier would also launch a "TD Special Incentive Fund" to subsidize domestic chipset and terminal manufacturers in order to speed TD-SCDMA development.
China Mobile will be bundling mobile TV service based on locally-developed CMMB technology directly into TD-SCDMA handsets. Last year alone, China Mobile spent around $1.17 billion on handset subsidies.
Beyond the investments on the subsidies, China Mobile had confirmed plans to invest 58.8 billion yuan ($8.6 billion) to build 60,000 3G network base stations in 2009. Upon completion, the total number of China Mobile's 3G network base stations will top 80,000, covering 70 percent of the cities under provincial level across the country.