Happy New Year!! In the beginning of a year, many organizations will give their predictions for the coming year.   I seldom predict the future.  But, I think one thing that is rather certain in 2011: China Mobile is losing its influence .

Many people already know the reason.  It is because it was grant the worst 3G licenses – TD-SCDMA.  The home made standard does not have a hot product, such as Apple iPhone, to promote it.  It is seldom used in the rest of the world.  So, many China mobile users switch to China Unicom, when they want to upgrade to 3G phones.  China Unicom uses the more widespread WCDMA standard. Chinese government is helping them to make the decision. People can switch between operators and keep their original numbers.  Many of my local Chinese friends are doing so.

If we check the MIIT data, we will see, for 2G, China Mobile has 70% of the market.  But for 3G, the three operators, i.e., China Mobile, China Unicom, China Telecom, have more or less the same number of users.  By July 2010, China Mobile had 11.8M 3G users, China Unicom 8.5M and China Telecom 7.75M.

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Sherman So

Author of Red Wired: China's Internet Revolution, the first book to completely survey the nature of China's internet. (http://redwiredrevolution.com/) She previously was the lead China technology reporter...