China Mobile is to launch a commercial trial of the country’s locally developed 3G technology, TD-SCDMA, next month. The operator has not yet disclosed the scale of the trial, but is known to be building trial networks of the standard in eight cities, including Beijing. The operator has ordered TD-SCDMA handsets and equipment from six companies, including Lenovo, ZTE, Hisense Electric, LG Electronics, Samsung and Guangzhou New Postcom Equipment, as well as datacards from ZTE and Datang. The Chinese government is yet to award 3G mobile phone licences to the country’s operators. TD-SCDMA and W-CDMA technology are tipped by analysts to be the most likely standards used in the future rollout of 3G services in China. Looking further forward, China Mobile announced at the recent Mobile World Congress that it is also set to trial LTE as a potential candidate for its next-generation commercial technology of choice.
Meanwhile the operator yesterday announced it added 68.1 million new subscribers in 2007, increasing its total by 23% to nearly 370 million. Net profit surged 31.9% from a year earlier on fast growth in the number of its subscribers. Value-added services, such as polyphonic ringback tones and multimedia messaging, also maintained strong growth last year, generating 25.7% of total revenue.