The competition among China’s three major telecom operators for Little Smart frequency band is reaching a feverish pitch with the upcoming release of 4G operating licenses (source in Chinese).

Launched in 1997, the personal handy-phone system (PHS) was known as Little Smart, or Xiaolingtong in Chinese, in mainland China . Its subscribers hit a historical high of 93.41 million in 2006. The system was phased out in recent years due to bad signals amid mounting competition from 3G and 4G technologies.

Generally speaking, China Telecom and China Unicom, two operators of Little Smart, are obliged to hold the frequency spectrum after the service is phased out.

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Emma Lee

Emma Lee is Shanghai-based tech writer, covering startups and tech happenings in China and Asia in general. We are looking for stories related to tech and China. Reach her at lixin@technode.com.