China Telecom Joins Hot Spot Frenzy Wifi热潮兴起 中国电信与中国移动谁将胜出?

It looks like China’s wireless broadband space is about to get a whole lot hotter — literally. Just a month after China Mobile (HKEx: 941; NYSE: CHL) announced a campaign to have 1 million hot spots nationwide within three years (previous post), the China Daily is reporting rival China Telecom (HKEx: 728; NYSE: CHT) has announced a similar plan to better serve the nation’s growing legions of wireless Web surfers. I previously called the China Mobile plan misguided, and I think the same is almost true for China Telecom. I say “almost”, because with China Telecom the plan makes a little more sense. Whereas China Mobile has little or no experience in this space, China Telecom has become a broadband specialist over the last few years through its fixed-line broadband offering, so presumably has more know-how in the area, both in terms of infrastructure and also in the equally important field of marketing. I still believe that most wireless broadband subscribers would rather get their service through 3G that’s available everywhere instead of via wi-fi that’s only available in select hot spots. But if anyone has a chance at succeeding in a national wi-fi network, I would give China Telecom the better odds over China Mobile.

Bottom line: I’m giving a reserved thumbs-up to China Telecom’s new wi-fi broadband campaign, but still believe it may be chasing a dead-end technology.

中国无线宽带建设不断升温。中国移动<0941.HK><CHL.N>约一个月前宣布,计划三年内将全国范围内的WiFi热点数量增至100万个。而据《中国日报》报 道,中国电信<0728.HK><CHA.N>亦宣布类似计划,以满足消费者不断升温的无线上网需求。我以前说过中国移动的计划不明智,现在我对中国电信的看法也差不多。我之所以说“差不多”,没说“完全一样”,是因为对中国电信来说,其计划的合理性略高一些,因为与中国移动不同的是,中国电信有多年的固网宽带服务经验,因此无论从基础设施还是营销来说,都算内行一些。我还是认为,多数无线网民还是宁愿通过无所不在的3G网络上网,而不会青睐热点覆盖有限的WiFi。但假设说有谁能够成功建设全国性WiFi网络,我认为中国电信成功的概率胜过中国移动。

一句话:我对中国电信的WiFi热点建设计划,持审慎支持态度。不过我还是认为,这也许是一条死胡同。

Related postings 相关文章:

China Mobile Wi-Fi Play Misguided 中移动:百万WiFi热点?

China Mobile Adds Alarm to Slow Growth Story 中国移动慢发展的故事上再加新警报

2011: Year of the Unicom 2011:联通的好运年

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