Here we go again with Chinese telecommunication standards and regulatory procedures.
According to Caixin the very much expected roll-out of 4G networks may run into delays. Results of network testing conducted by China Mobile are being withheld and, instead of the usual group approach, the Chinese carrier appears to be holding one-on-one discussion with network equipment vendors.
The process is somehow reminding us of the 3G saga in which operating licenses were given out once domestic firms had managed to offer a working standard that could match the established European and American standard.
Being a state-owned carrier may not always secure a competitive advantage, in particular when the regulator interferes with the market.
China Telecom, the largest fixed-line provider in China, is going mobile in the UK…
Neither the mode of entry via a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) nor the segment targeted (Chinese tourists) may sound very threatening to established mobile operators like Vodafone or O2. While such a low-key market entry carries little downside risks, it also provides little upside benefits. Nevertheless, it sends a mighty signal to carriers across the world that Chinese operators are no longer only concerned about their domestic market.
In spite of China’s accession to the WTO a decade ago and the ensuing ”liberalization” of the telecommunication market no foreign operator has really ever managed to crack the Chinese market. Competition may now take place elsewhere and, given the deep pockets of Chinese operators, it may be fierce.