Chinese news agency Xinhua states that the country’s fixed-line operators will soon be granted licenses for mobile services, citing comments from Ministry of Information Industry (MII) Vice Minister Xi Guohua at a telecom forum. Fixed-line operators China Netcom and China Telecom would be likely beneficiaries of the move. Such comments follow months of speculation concerning a possible breakup of China Unicom, China Mobile’s smaller rival, and the division of its mobile assets between China Telecom and China Netcom.
Meanwhile Vodafone is seeking to increase its presence in China through the restructuring of the country’s telecommunications industry, the Financial Times reports today. The operator’s CEO Arun Sarin told the newspaper the group’s US$13 billion stake (3 percent) in China Mobile is a “kitty” that could be used to take advantage of opportunities.