Peking steckt beim 3G-Ausbau zurück: Beijing shows signs of curtailing ambitious plans to roll out third-generation (3G) networks, which offer high-speed transmission for video calling and Internet connections, and which are already being rolled out in more developed economies. Global giants such as U.S.-based Motorola and Sweden's Ericsson will probably still receive sizable deals, but they are sure to be considerably smaller than many previously believed. Worldwide sales of networking equipment are expected to total about $43 billion this year, with China accounting for $5 billion of that, according to Deutsche Bank Securities. China's share of the pie is forecast to grow slightly to $7.8 billion out of a worldwide $46 billion by 2007. "With 3G, certainly the body language from the operators at the moment is that it's not a significant incremental spend," said Merrill Lynch telecom analyst Alistair Scott. "The sense is that they're going to take it as a fairly measured rollout rather than going hell for leather." ... China, the world's largest mobile phone market with more than 300 million subscribers, is likely to launch some form of the advanced networks before the Beijing Olympics in 2008, but the government has been pushing back its plan to issue licenses. Analysts now expect the licenses to be issued sometime next year. Whereas many previously thought the country would issue four licenses, they now believe the number could be three, including one that mandates the use of a home-grown and largely unproven standard known as TD-SCDMA.
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