China Mobile is expected to have up to 80 million subscribers to its 3G network within the next two years, said China's Minister of Industry and Information Technology, Li Yizhong. The company is rolling out a network based on the home-grown TD-SCDMA standard, while its rival networks are allowed to use the international WCDMA and CDMA formats.
According to a report by the Dow Jones Newswire, while speaking at a news briefing, Li acknowledged the domestic standard isn't as developed as its more mature international rivals, but said he is confident in its commercial development.
The claim of 80 million subscribers by 2011 is lower than a prediction made earlier this year of 100 million subscribers by 2011 from Lu Dongfeng, vice-president of Datang Telecom Technology, a provider of TD-SCDMA products.
Lou Qinjian, vice-minister of industry and information technology, also earlier told the official China Daily news agency that TD-SCDMA subscribers in China are expected to reach 10 million by the end of this year.
China Mobile is spending around US$8.6 billion during 2009 on rolling out its 3G network. The company aims to deploy some 60,000 base stations in 238 cities this year