China Mobile has launched a second round of tenders for mobile handsets and datacards based on China’s proprietary TD-SCDMA 3G standard. According to Forbes, the operator confirmed in a statement on its website this week that it was preparing to purchase 100,000 devices, a significant increase on the 30,000 devices it procured in its first round of tenders in January this year. China Mobile is reportedly planning to have its 3G network up and running in time for the Beijing Olympics in August.
In its statement, China Mobile said that bidders for the tenders will need to have TD-SCDMA handset production licenses issued by China’s Industry and Informatization Ministry. According to the Ministry, more than 30 mobile device manufacturers have been issued with licenses to date. In January six Chinese and South Korean firms were cleared to develop TD-SCDMA devices: Lenovo, ZTE, Hisense Electric, LG Electronics, Samsung and Guangzhou New Postcom Equipment. It was later reported that major international handset vendors such as Nokia and Motorola have since been issued with licenses to produce compatible handsets. The Chinese telecoms industry is about to undergo a major restructuring, and licenses for national, commercial 3G deployments are expected to be issued following this overhaul.