China's 400 million mobile phone users are not expected to gain access to 3G services before the fourth quarter of this year, according to a US telecoms researcher.
The nation's 3G introduction is eagerly anticipated as it is widely expected to generate $12bn in spending on equipment.
China will have more than 740 million mobile phone users by 2010, Pyramid Research predicts, and some analysts suggest that China's mobile market could be worth as much as $300bn by 2015.
China's network operators are ready to launch 3G services with the WCDMA standard today, but the government hopes to roll out its new home-grown TD-SCDMA standard first, before foreign-developed technologies like WCDMA are introduced.
This is despite the fact that China has pledged not to interfere in the 3G standards selection by operators. Even with the government's aid, analysts expect TD-SCDMA to have difficulty gaining a substantial share of the market.
TD-SCDMA will probably go into service in the fourth quarter of this year, and other 3G standards, like WCDMA, will follow, according to Yiru Zhong of Pyramid Research.
Zhong's comments at a TD-SCDMA promotional event in Beijing last week were reported by Nikkei Business Press.
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