While most of the world plods along with WCDMA and EV-DO based networks to serve up 3G, China likes to do things its own way -- largely to avoid licensing fees -- by cookin' up TD-SCDMA. TD-SCDMA isn't commercial yet, which explains why the overwhelming majority of handsets targeted at the billion-strong Chinese market continue to this day to top out with 2G data. Unfortunately, launch dates have been pushed back time and time again; a full-scale launch isn't expected in 2007
at this point, though China Mobile reports that it's on target to complete networks in eight cities by year's end. That is
good news, since it means that there's still hope for China to be able to showcase its shiny, new, royalty-unburdened technology by the time the Summer Olympics roll into Beijing next summer. ZTE and other domestic manufacturers (and some foreign ones
, too) seem at the ready to deliver equipment into consumers' hands, so it's up to the carriers to get those towers up and running on the double. In other words: if you work for China Mobile, we think you have better things to be doing right now, don't you?