China’s telecommunications supervisor on Wednesday issued long-awaited third-generation (3G) mobile phone licenses to three mobile operators, a move that is expected to lead to billions of dollars being invested in building new networks. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said China’s biggest mobile operator, China Mobile, was awarded a license for TD-SCDMA, the domestically-developed 3G standard. The other two main carriers, China Telecom and China Unicom, received licenses for the US-developed CDMA2000 and Europe’s WCDMA, respectively. The 3G high-speed networks can handle faster data downloads, allowing handset users to make video calls and watch TV programs. Read the full story in China Daily here.
The strong quake off Taiwan’s coast on December 26 damaged six separate submarine cables and severely disrupted telecom links in the East, Southeast and South Asia. Internet connectivity in a number of countries are either down or are slowed down thanks to taffic that is being rerouted over networks that have escaped damage. Most of Jakarta (Indonesia) and Pondicherry (Southern India) have been without Internet until this afternoon (Dec 27) at least. In our office in Sri Lanka, SLT’s ADSL connection (though congested) is working. However, Lankacom’s leased line is down since it probably connects to the Internet backbone via Singapore.