Apple dicusses CDMA iPhone

Updated: 2011-05-21 09:16

By Edmond Lococo (China Daily)

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BEIJING - China Telecom Corp said it is in talks with Apple Inc to offer a CDMA version of the iPhone in the world's largest mobile-phone market by users.

"We can't deny our interest," China Telecom Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Wang Xiaochu told reporters after the company's annual general meeting in Hong Kong on Friday. A non-disclosure agreement with Apple prevents him from providing details on the status of the talks, Wang said.

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China Telecom boosted mobile-phone subscribers 61 percent last year as it raced to catch China Mobile Ltd and China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd.

Wang has narrowed the gap by tripling the handsets offered last year to more than 300, including Research in Motion Ltd's BlackBerry, to attract higher-spending customers who pay to download music, games and video using high-speed, third-generation (3G) networks.

China Telecom operates the world's largest CDMA, - or code division multiple access - mobile network, Wang said.

The carrier increased its 3G customers more than threefold to 12.3 million last year. That approached China Unicom's 14.1 million and China Mobile's 20.7 million.

Average monthly sales for 3G customers are about 90 yuan ($14), Wang said on Friday.

Verizon Communications Inc, the second-largest US phone company, began selling iPhones in February for the same network technology, which allows users to share a band of frequencies.

China Unicom is currently the only telecom company in the country to offer the iPhone with a service contract.

China Mobile, the world's largest mobile-phone company by users, said on Thursday that Apple may develop an iPhone for the fourth generation TD-LTE - or time division-long term evolution - network it plans to commercialize starting next year.

Bloomberg News


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