China's (3G) Great Expectations

May 19, 2011, 10:56 p.m.
Jake Saunders, Vice President, Asia-Pacific & Advisory Services


China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has just made it official. At the end of 2010, China's 3G notched up 5.5% penetration. That may seem pretty puny but when you take the population of China into consideration, that equates to 47 million 3G users. That is a good sized medium European country.... all of them using 3G.

TD-SCDMA is starting to get some traction and is getting noticed. 42% of those 3G subs were TD-SCDMA users. The original MIIT forecasts for TD-SCDMA adoption may have been a little messianic, but there is a sporting chance that China might just eclipse 100 million 3G before the end of 2011.

MIIT will be watching the numbers. It is unlkely that any 4G licenses will be issued until 3G, and in particular TD-SCDMA is seen to be a proper success. If TD-SCDMA were to hit that 100m threshold in short order? Even better. ​