China Mobile is looking to increase cooperation with vendors with a view to improving its performance in the 3G market and is gearing up for its upcoming 4G launch. China Daily cited general manager of the cellco Li Yue as saying that the company would like to develop in-depth cooperation with mobile phone manufacturers adding: ‘we hope mobile phone makers will launch more [TD-SCDMA] handsets with high quality and innovative technologies.’ As noted by TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, whilst China Mobile is the largest cellco by subscribers in the country it is struggling to compete against its domestic rivals in the 3G market: whilst the cellco represented 65.3% of the total wireless market at the end of June 2012, it claimed 38.2% of the 3G market. The disparity is due largely to the operator’s choice of platform. China Mobile uses home-grown technology TD-SCDMA, whilst its rivals China Unicom and China Telecom utilise W-CDMA and CDMA2000 respectively. Consequently, Unicom and Telecom have access to a greater technology ecosystem, with a wider range of devices available to their customers. In addition to increasing ties with vendors to cut back this disadvantage, the cellco has said it will increase handset subsidies and invest further in distribution channels.
Gearing up for the launch of its 4G Time Division Long Term Evolution (TD-LTE) network, China Mobile has announced that it will begin procuring more than 200,000 4G devices in Q4 2012. The operator is also looking to procure 34,700 devices to be used for network service trials.