China Plans to Issue 3G Licenses as Early as Year-End

From Bloomberg:

China said it will issue high-speed mobile-phone licenses as early as this month, which will trigger at least 200 billion yuan ($29 billion) of spending in 2009 as operators upgrade networks to offer faster services.

The estimated investments in third-generation networks and services will help stimulate economic growth, Li Yizhong, head of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said in Beijing today. Three permits will be issued before the end of this year or in early 2009, Li said.

The nation’s carriers including China Mobile Ltd. seek to use 3G technology for faster wireless services to lift revenue and weather slowing demand as China’s economy weakens. Operators in the world’s biggest phone market face increased competition after the rollout of 3G services, eroding the industry’s profitability, according to Citigroup Inc.

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