The end of low-tech

Low-tech has its cost of opportunity. China plans to discontinue PHS, a cheap and low-end wireless phone service that counted up to 100 million users, by 2011. Why? To clear spectrum for TD-SCDMA, a homegrown 3G standard.

While this decision may cause inconvenience to low-income customers, the move won’t anger too much the operators who were offering the service as they were just granted a 3G license. In a sense, it is a shame: PHS was able to attract the lower-end of the market thanks to its cheaper fees and despite severe roaming limitations. But remember that most farmers in the country do not roam very much, even in their entire lifetime. But then, what wouldn’t one country do to show it technological capacities…