We knew good and well China Mobile was all geared up
to launch its homegrown 3G standard in Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Guangzhou and Shenzhen (among other locales), and though China's government hasn't issued 3G licenses yet
, TD-SCDMA has finally made its soft launch. In order to garner interest in the service, said carrier has also opened up "experience shops" in the aforementioned cities "to allow the public to experiment with TD-SCDMA handsets and gain confidence with TD-SCDMA's capabilities." During the initial launch, some 60,000 dual-mode TD-SCDMA / GSM handsets and 15,000 data cards will be on sale in these outlets, with most of the units being in the "mid- to high-end range" and costing between $286 and $572 (those are subsidized prices). Here is where we suppose China Mobile holds its breath and hopes for things to take off.