The world's top cellphone maker Nokia expects to start selling phones for China's 3G mobile technology TD-SCDMA in the first half of next year, when the network is up and running, a company official said.
"Currently we see that there will be market need from the first half of 2008. Hence, we will have some kind of offering on the market," said Thomas Jonsson, Nokia's spokesman in China.
Beijing earlier this year extended pre-commercial testing of its home-grown TD-SCDMA (Time Division Synchronous Code Division Multiple Access) standard to 10 cities from the original five.
Analysts say that trial extension is in effect a soft launch or roll-out that favours local gearmakers -- who have more of an edge in TD-SCDMA, versus foreign firms who are more focused on the better-established W-CDMA and CDMA2000 standards.
With a potential $10 billion of network equipment orders in the balance, global players such as Nokia Siemens Networks, Motorola, Ericsson and Nortel Networks have jumped onto TD-SCDMA.
The new generation of wireless technology will provide rapid Web and multimedia services.
The industry is still waiting for the official launch of 3G licences in China, which analysts say could be pushed back until 2008.