China Mobile to bring iPhone on its network

Telecom Lead Asia: China Mobile is in talks with Apple to bring iPhone on its network in China. China
Mobile is the only Chinese operator that does not officially carry the iPhone
because its homegrown 3G technology is not supported by the chips used in
current iPhone models.

Other operators such as China Unicom and China Telecom have
already signed contracts with Apple.

“We’ve been actively talking to Apple on how we can
cooperate. I can’t give you too many details, but I’d like to repeat that both
sides do hope to boost our cooperation,” China Mobile Chairman Xi Guohua.

Some analysts have said that Apple will likely use a
Qualcomm Inc chip in its next-generation iPhones that would support China
Mobile’s network, removing the key technology barrier for a deal.

The chairman also said that China Mobile is trying to expand
its services outside mainland China by offering 4G services in Hong Kong this
year and is hoping to provide mobile service between the United States and

“We want to become a more global company. For that to
happen, we are interested in tapping other markets such as Hong Kong and the
United States. We have applied to the United States for a license, but it’s not
been rejected yet. Rather, it’s undergoing the relevant procedure. We hope the
US government will give us their approval soon for us to expand our services
there,” Xi added.

The carrier has completed initial testing with 850 base
stations in six cities, such as Hangzhou in China’s east. The company said the
trials will be expanded to 10 cities, including Beijing, with the number of
base stations increasing to more than 20,000 this year.

There are now 72 LTE operators that have launched commercial
services, including 25 networks launched so far in 2012, according to a May
report by the Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA).

The carrier said subscribers in March rose to 667.20
million, more than twice the population of the United States, including 59.56
million 3G subscribers.

China Mobile to launch 4G in Hong Kong in April

China Mobile is planning to start 4G wireless service in
Hong Kong in April. It will compete with rivals including Telstra and

China Mobile will offer more than one 4G handset when it
rolls out the service on April 25. The largest mobile service provider in the
world is planning to offer 10 4G phones for customers this year.

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