China to Foster Competitive Telecommunications Markets
Oct 7, 2001
The Ministry also announced the introduction of
resellers or virtual operators in the Chinese marketplace. This measures are set to increase competition in the market,
which at the moment registers one of the fastest growth rates yet recorded.
Bank of China International said it predicts 10 or more mobile
service providers will enter the market in 2003 or beyond.
Some of these new players will be joint ventures with leading
foreign mobile operators, the brokerage said.
Currently there are two mobile operators in China, China
Mobile Communications Corp. and China United
Telecommunications Corp. China Mobile's China Mobile (HK) Ltd.
(CHL) unit and China United's China Unicom Ltd. (CHU) unit are
listed in Hong Kong.
Ministry officials also suggested it is unlikely that China
will issue additional 2G cellular licenses in the near future.
It considers next year an appropriate time to license 3G
services, according to Bank of China International's report.
Analysts met with Su Jin Sheng, head of the Telecommunications
Administration Bureau; Wang Zhan Fu, deputy head of the
Department of Financial Adjustment and Clearing; Zhao Mei
Zhuang, deputy head of the Department of Policy and
The Bank of China International said the MII plans to
designate a leading telecom provider as a universal service
provider, with its obligations set by the ministry.
China Telecommunications Corp., the country's dominant
fixed-line operator, is most likely to be designated, the Bank
of China International said.
A fund will be established, to which other service providers
will contribute, and it will be used to offset economic losses incurred by the USP, according to the bank.
It also said implementation of the USP and the fund are
expected in 2003.
The Bank of China International report said there has been no
decision on whether China Telecom will be split up into
China's mobile users are currently billed for both sending and
receiving phone calls.
The Ministry of Information Industry has said previously that
CPP won't be implemented this year.
Some industry analysts expect implementation of the system to
be gradual and completed by 2003.
A mainland paper reported in August that China Mobile
subscribers in Zibo, Shandong province, are now being charged
under a CPP pricing system. That report was denied by China
Mobile (Hong Kong).
Concerns over implementing calling party pays have hurt the
share prices of both China Mobile and China Unicom.
A report by CLSA, published Wednesday, said no decision has
yet been made on whether CPP will be implemented.
Separately, analysts said they met management from China
Mobile (Hong Kong) Ltd.'s parent China Mobile Communications
Corp. and Beijing Mobile, a unit of China Mobile (Hong Kong).
According to Bank of China, the two companies said they will
focus on revenue and profitability and that subscriber growth
isn't a very important performance target.
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