Report: China to use TD-SCDMA during Beijing Olympics

China will expand the trial of TD-SCDMA technology to include the Olympics.

China will put its homegrown 3G (third-generation) mobile technology to use during the 2008 Olympic Games, the country's state-owned broadcaster said in a news report.

"China's top economic planner says the country will use its homegrown 3G service at the Beijing Olympics next year," China Central Television (CCTV) said during a news broadcast (requires Internet Explorer) this week.

The announcement by officials from China's National Development and Reform Commission was made during the PT/Expo Comm China 2007 exhibition this week in Beijing. Trials of TD-SCDMA (Time Division Synchronous Code Division Multiple Access) will be expanded to include the Olympics, but officials offered no hint of when the country plans to issue licenses for 3G services, CCTV reported.

They also offered no hint of whether other 3G technologies will be in use during the Olympics, CCTV said.

Chinese officials have long promised that 3G would be part of the technologies used to host a "high-tech Olympics." But China's move towards 3G was slowed by bureaucratic infighting and the relative immaturity of the domestically developed 3G standard. As tests have continued in a bid to prove that TD-SCDMA is ready for commercial deployment, the government has held off on plans to issue 3G licenses.

That delay leaves open the possibility that China will not have commercial 3G services ready in time for the Olympics. That now seems to be a certainty, even if a trial TD-SCDMA service is made available to showcase that technology during the games.

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Sumner Lemon

IDG News Service
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