CDG Press Releases
CDG CONGRATULATES CHINA UNICOM ON CDMA GROWTH
CDMA2000 Expected to Continue to Thrive in China with Availability of More Low-Cost Handsets, Dual-Mode Devices, and Additional Value-Added Services
Costa Mesa, Calif. — February 26, 2007 — The CDMA Development Group (CDG) (www.cdg.org) today congratulates China Unicom, one of China’s leading mobile carriers, for substantially growing its subscriber base and reaching solid profitability. China Unicom sold close to 8 million CDMA2000® mobile phones in 2006 and launched more than 100 CDMA phone models, a 20 percent increase from 2005. Seven out of every ten CDMA handset sold in China were priced below RMB 1000 (US$129). China Unicom ended the year with 37 million CDMA2000 subscribers.
In June 2006, SK Telecom (SKT), South Korea ’s largest wireless carrier, purchased a 6.67 percent stake in China Unicom. The partnership has strengthened China Unicom’s CDMA business by providing additional working capital for advanced mobile handsets, network enhancements and the marketing of value-added services. The increased availability of low-cost handsets and dual-mode (CDMA & GSM) devices, several marketing campaigns and reduced operating costs helped the company attain profitability within the third quarter of 2006. China Unicom also introduced a new logo and reorganized its consumer and corporate services branding structure. The “Rural New Time Space” campaign targeted rural markets by enabling farmers to access agricultural information using SMS or WAP. Within six months, this synergistic partnership has already shown China Unicom and SKT a return on their investment. Because of this success, plans for 2007 include continued cooperation with CDMA producers to promote performance and price ratio and to produce more low-cost CDMA handsets set to launch in rural markets.
“The CDG is pleased to see two of Asia’s powerhouses work together to strengthen their investment in CDMA2000,” said Perry LaForge, executive director of the CDG. “China Unicom’s successful CDMA2000 business is proof that subscribers in China are ready for advanced 3G services. For the past six years, CDMA2000 technology has been the catalyst for deploying innovative and competitive 3G services.”
In 2006, China Unicom made significant progress towards selling low-cost CDMA phones and high-end dual-mode handsets. There are now up to 19 dual-mode phones, also known as Worldwind TM phones, available in China. By the end of 2006, the average selling price for their CDMA handset portfolio was less than their GSM portfolio, which spans from low-cost to high-end dual-mode phones. By the end of 2007, it is expected that sales of low-cost and Worldwind phones in China will hit 5.5 million and 3 million, respectively.
In 2007, China Unicom will continue to fortify its line-up of CDMA devices, value added services and marketing campaigns to support its double-digit subscriber growth rate.
More information on CDMA2000 operators is available at www.cdg.org.
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