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China Mobile says 3G isn't winning hearts and minds yet

Chris Ziegler

China Mobile officially kicked off commercial 3G services on China's homegrown TD-SCDMA standard way back in January of this year and it's sparing no expense to build it out, but so far, only 3 percent of new subscribers -- that is, those that could easily get a 3G line and hardware if they wanted to -- are opting for the service. It'd be totally cool if 3 percent of China Mobile's total subscriber base were on 3G, but in reality, only about three-quarters of a million folks were signed up by the end of May -- and when you consider that there are nearly half a billion subscribers on the carrier, that's a drop in the bucket. Part of the problem could simply be that TD-SCDMA is unique to China, which limits hardware selection; its competitors are deploying HSPA and EV-DO networks, which may have a better chance of broad acceptance. Either that, or Chinese just hate fast wireless, and we're doubting that.

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