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China buying up 3G handsets

by on08 February 2010


Six-fold growth this year

at iSuppli have been shuffling their tarot cards and are convinced that the Chinese 3G market will grow by six times 2009 levels.

More than 42.97 million units are going to fly off the shelves in 2010, up from 7.2 million in 2009, according to iSuppli. The research firm attributed the significant growth to aggressive subsidies from wireless carriers.

"Chinese carriers plan to provide more than $7.3 billion, worth of subsidies to promote the domestic 3G handset market in 2010," said Kevin Wang, director of China research at iSuppli. "Because of particularly strong subsidies, phones using the TD-SCDMA air standard that is backed by the Chinese government will generate the bulk of growth in 2010."

Domestic shipments of TD-SCDMA phones in China will rise to 20.4 million units in 2010, up from 1.3 million in 2009, according to Wang. iSuppli believes that over the next five years, ongoing voice service fee reductions and declines in ASPs for handsets will assure the continued growth of China's mobile subscribers.

By the end of 2014, iSuppli forecasts that Chinese wireless subscribers will grow to 1.1 billion people, with 3G subscribers to reach 230 million.
Oddly one of the market drivers will be mobile TV based around China's CMMB standard. More than 230 cities had CMMB signals in China by the end of 2009.
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