According to a spokesman for the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, China Telecom and China Netcom (now part of China Unicom) have been ordered to close their XiaoLingTong (XLT, or Little Smart) PHS networks so as to clear the spectrum for the use of TD-SCDMA, the Chinese homegrown 3G standard. The low-cost PHS service grew rapidly following its launch in 1998, claiming more than 100 million subscribers at its peak. Its popularity prompted cellular operators China Mobile and China Unicom to slash prices, resulting in a fall in XLT users to 68.9 million at the end of 2008.
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