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The third-generation-mobile (3G) policy and deployment in China: Current status, challenges, and prospects

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  • Xia, Jun

Abstract

Since the inception of telecom reform in 1994, structural reform has been a main thread surrounding the course of the development of China's telecommunications industry. In structuring the 2008 reform and the 2009 3G rollout China's government adopted a relatively balanced approach in the hope of creating level-playing-field in 3G era. Nevertheless, due to the presence of substantial switching costs, substitution effects from the present technology mode, that is, 2.5G, the absence of killer applications, among other technological and institutional factors, China may not have a realistic 3G era before moving toward 4G and beyond. At the bare minimum, currently there is a lacking of either adequate technological-push or demand-pull for a full-scale 3G commercialization--there is no sign that this situation will change in the near term. Triggered by recent initiatives of market convergence between the telecommunications, Internet, and cable, a renewed circle of market, and regulatory reform is probably necessary to cast a sounder industry basis for a timing migration toward the next-generation-networks (NGNs). The timing migration toward 4G (and beyond) may provide a chance for a late-mover nation like China to leapfrog its western counterparts in leading the industry in the era of NGNs. To this end, China is confronted with a challenge in re-examining its industry policy as well as technological strategies for a sustainable development in the era of NGNs. This study offers heuristic analysis and insights on the above issues based on archival documents and interviews. While implications are suggested for China's circumstances, the Chinese experiences may also be considered by other countries and investors when it comes to 3G (and beyond) policies, regulations, deployments, and evolutions.

Suggested Citation

  • Xia, Jun, 2011. "The third-generation-mobile (3G) policy and deployment in China: Current status, challenges, and prospects," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 51-63, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:telpol:v:35:y:2011:i:1:p:51-63
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    Cited by:

    1. Gao, Xudong & Liu, Jianxin, 2012. "Catching up through the development of technology standard: The case of TD-SCDMA in China," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(7), pages 531-545.
    2. Han, Shengfei & Wang, Wei, 2014. "WTO accession, impediments to FDI, and the market opening of basic telecom services in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 68-81.
    3. Hong, Yu & Bar, François & An, Zheng, 2012. "Chinese telecommunications on the threshold of convergence: Contexts, possibilities, and limitations of forging a domestic demand-based growth model," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 914-928.
    4. Loo, Becky P.Y. & Ngan, Y.L., 2012. "Developing mobile telecommunications to narrow digital divide in developing countries? Some lessons from China," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 888-900.
    5. Xia, Jun, 2012. "Reprint of: Competition and regulation in China's 3G/4G mobile communications industry—Institutions, governance, and telecom SOEs," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 798-816.
    6. Yu, Jiang & Zhang, Yue & Gao, Ping, 2012. "Examining China's technology policies for wireless broadband infrastructure," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 847-857.
    7. Zhang, Jing & Liang, Xiong-jian, 2012. "Promoting green ICT in China: A framework based on innovation system approaches," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 997-1013.
    8. Gao, Ping & Yu, Jiang & Lyytinen, Kalle, 2014. "Government in standardization in the catching-up context: Case of China's mobile system," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 200-209.
    9. Lin, Trisha T.C., 2012. "Market competitiveness of mobile TV industry in China," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 943-954.
    10. Xia, Jun, 2012. "Competition and regulation in China's 3G/4G mobile communications industry—Institutions, governance, and telecom SOEs," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(7), pages 503-521.
    11. Han, Aiping & Ge, Jianping & Lei, Yalin, 2015. "An adjustment in regulation policies and its effects on market supply: Game analysis for China’s rare earths," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(P2), pages 30-42.
    12. Hu, Hanhui & Wan, Xing & Lv, Kui & Xu, Min, 2012. "Mapping China's 3G market with the strategic network paradigm," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 977-988.
    13. Wu, Richard W.S. & Leung, Grace L.K., 2012. "Implementation of three network convergence in China: A new institutional analysis," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 955-965.
    14. Kang, Fei & Hauge, Janice A. & Lu, Ting-Jie, 2012. "Competition and mobile network investment in China’s telecommunications industry," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 901-913.
    15. Gao, Xudong, 2014. "A latecomer's strategy to promote a technology standard: The case of Datang and TD-SCDMA," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 597-607.
    16. Kwak, Jooyoung & Lee, Heejin & Chung, Do Bum, 2012. "The evolution of alliance structure in China’s mobile telecommunication industry and implications for international standardization," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 966-976.
    17. Gao, Xudong & Liu, Jianxin, 2012. "Reprint of: Catching up through the development of technology standard: The case of TD-SCDMA in China," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 817-831.
    18. Shen, Wei, 2012. "Deconstructing the myth of Alipay Drama—Repoliticizing foreign investment in the telecommunications sector in China," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 929-942.
    19. Vialle, Pierre & Song, Junjie & Zhang, Jian, 2012. "Competing with dominant global standards in a catching-up context. The case of mobile standards in China," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 832-846.

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