Telecoms Regulator Shifts Tone on 4G 电信监管者就4G牌照发放转变口风

After saying on several occasions earlier this year that 4G licenses won’t be issued for at least the next 2-3 years, China’s telecoms regulator is subtly shifting its message, no doubt under heavy pressure from China Mobile (HKEx: 941; NYSE: CHL), which would like to see such licenses issued sooner rather than later. Chinese media are now quoting an official from the regulator at an event this week saying that 4G licenses will be awarded when the technology is “mature.” (Chinese article) He then goes on to say how China Mobile has launched expanded trials for its 4G standard, TD-LTE, in six major cities, and that results so far have been promising. I sense a definite shift in this quote from the ministry’s previous stance, in which it indicated it wanted to wait for new 3G systems launched two years ago by the country’s 3 telcos, China Mobile, China Unicom (HKEx: 762; NYSE: CHU) and China Telecom (HKEx: 728; NYSE: CHA), to gain traction before awarding 4G licenses. Industry watchers will know that China Mobile has been rapidly losing share in the 3G market after being forced to use a homegrown wireless standard, TD-SCDMA, that lacks maturity and a wide range of smartphones to make it attractive to most consumers. It has been lobbying hard for the regulator to let it roll out a 4G system, based on more widely used technology, and these latest comments seem to indicate the regulator might issue a 4G license to China Mobile first if it feels TD-LTE is ready for commercialization. If that happens, I could see China Mobile receiving a 4G license in as little as a year from now, which could provide a boon to telecoms equipment makers like Ericsson (Stockholm: ERICb), Huawei, ZTE (HKEx: 763; Shenzhen: 000063) and Alcatel Lucent (Paris: ALU), and could help China Mobile regain some of the momentum it has lost to Unicom and China Telecom.

Bottom line: A subtle shift in comments from the telecoms regulator indicate a softening stance toward the issuance of 4G licenses, paving the way for China Mobile to get one such license in as little as a year.

今年早些时候,中国电信监管部门多次表示,至少在未来2-3年内不会发放4G牌照,但现在其口风出现微妙的变化,无疑是受到中国移动<0941.HK>的压力。该公司希望能早点发放4G牌照。  中国媒体援引监管部门一官员在本周一次活动上的话报导称,4G牌照何时发放取决於技术的成熟度。接着他还介绍了在中国六大城市开展的TD-LTE规模试验,并表示测试效果良好。我从这名官员的发言中察觉到工信部立场与此前相比发生了变化。之前工信部曾表示,希望中国三大移动运营商中国移动、中国联通<CHU.N>和中国电信<CHA.N>推出的3G网络强化後再发放4G牌照。业内观察者将会注意到,因使用中国自己的TD-SCDMA无线网络标准,中移动在中国3G市场的份额正迅速流失。中国移动一直在努力游说工信部,允许其推出4G系统,工信部官员近期言论似乎暗示,如果该部觉得TD-LTE商业化时机成熟,或会首先向中国移动发放4G牌照。如果是这种情况,我认为,中国移动最短在一年内就可拿到4G牌照,这对爱立信<ERICb.ST>、华为中兴通讯<000063.SZ><0763.HK>和阿尔卡特-朗讯(Alcatel-Lucent)<ALUA.PA>等电信设备制造商将是利好,并可能有助於中国移动夺回中国联通和中国电信抢走的部分市场份额。

一句话:工信部官员口风的微妙转变暗示,该部在4G牌照发放问题上的立场软化,中国移动有望最短在一年内获得4G牌照。

Related postings 相关文章:

Goldman Joins List of TD-LTE Boosters 高盛加入支持TD-LTE网络阵营

China Mobile: Chairman Wang Preparing to Leave? 中国移动:王建宙董事长要退休?

Apple’s COO Comes Calling on China Mobile 苹果首席运营官造访中移动

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