Telefónica has announced that it has sold a 4.56 per cent stake in China Unicom for HK$10,963.3 ($1.413bn). The deal leaves the Spanish operator group with a 5.01 stake in the Chinese firm.
Chinese operator China Unicom has announced a 92 per cent year on year increase in mobile data usage, attributing the growth in part to the availability of low-cost smarpthones. In an earnings release posted late last week, Unicom referenced an improvement in its smartphone “quality to price ratio”.
In a bid to encourage direct foreign investment into the country, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has issued a draft proposal to allow mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) to set up in the market.
China Unicom has selected Alcatel-Lucent as its largest supplier for the planned expansion of its broadband access network using GPON technology across 29 provinces.
Telefónica has signed a strategic agreement with China Unicom that will see the two firms work together on M2M technologies such as cellular communications, RFID sensors and GPS.
China’s fibre diet was bulked out yet further this week with the news that China Unicom has tapped Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) to deploy a 40Gbps-capable optical network for the operator.
Taiwan-based device manufacturer HTC is looking to broaden its reach in both China and Europe with announcements of expansions into both markets. In the case of China, the company has announced its plans to increase the number of retail outlets there from 630 to 2000 by the end of 2011. With a market 10 times bigger than Taiwan’s, where HTC is the dominant player, China could be a lucrative revenue stream for HTC if it can take on Huawei and ZTE, both of which have been paying increasing attention to western markets lately.
Chinese vendor Huawei has scored a managed services deal with local carrier China Unicom, the company said Tuesday.
China Unicom’s heavy spending on handset subsidies has taken its toll on profits. Announcing its 2010 annual results yesterday, China’s second-largest operator reported an 11.3 per cent growth in revenue that was tempered by a net profit drop of almost 60 per cent to $586.5m. China Unicom reported losses of RMB 3.4bn on “handset subsidy costs.”
China Telecom is to buy the CDMA network it currently leases from parent company China Telecommunications. With fourth quarter profits up 42 per cent on the back of a tripling of smartphone users, China’s biggest fixed-line carrier is looking to build on that growth by reducing its 3G costs. Last year, the cost of leasing the CDMA network rose by 59 per cent – more than the depreciation of assets and other related costs – to CNY13.3bn ($2bn).
China Mobile chairman Wang Jianzhou has said that Steve Jobs is “very interested” in developing an iPhone based on China mobile’s TD-LTE standard.
China Unicom has announced the development of its own smartphone operating system built on a Linux core. The ‘Wophone’ OS, which reports claim will not be based on Android, will run on a new brand of devices which, it is hoped, will help China Unicom expand its handset offering in order to grow demand for its 3G services.
China Unicom has announced that its full year profits for 2010 are likely to be less than half what the company reported for 2009. The news came days after it was revealed that the Chinese carrier is to deepen its equity relationship with Telefónica, with the Spanish incumbent investing €500m to take its stake in Unicom to 9.7 per cent.
Spanish incumbent operator Telefónica and China Unicom have announced that they are to deepen a relationship that was formalised in September 2009. Each will invest a further $500m in the other, taking Telefónica’s stake in Unicom to 9.7 per cent, and the Chinese carrier’s shareholding in Telefónica to 1.37 per cent.
Apple unleashed the iPhone 4 to the Chinese market over the weekend, prompting huge crowds to gather outside retail stores as pre-ordering was suspended due to demand.