3gcrop.jpgNo surprise to find that Chinese telecoms equipment manufacturers are the big winners in China Mobile's latest tender round to upgrade its wireless network to 3G speeds.

China developed its own 3G standard TD-SCDMA specifically to boost its local equipment industry so it would be naïve to expect otherwise.

Nevertheless, If I were the boss of Nokia Siemens Networks or Ericsson, the only western equipment suppliers involved in this latest round of TD-SCDMA orders, I would ask myself searching questions as to just where the competive advantage lies in developing and supporting a technology that is only used in China and for which the lion's share of the orders seem destined to go to Chinese rivals.

This third-phase of China Mobile's TD-SCDMA network tender covers 200 Chinese cities and 39,000 base stations.

China's Big Three equipment suppliers, ZTE, Huawei and Datang Mobile took a combined total of of 72% of the orders, with ZTE gaining 34%, Huawei 22% and Datang Mobile 16%.

Nokia Siemens Networks and Ericsson find themselves relegated to the junior league alongside local minnows New Postcom, FiberHome Technologies, Potevio, wich get shares of about 5% to 6% each.

Once this latest phase of network modernisation is complete, China Mobile's TD-SCDMA network is expected to cover 70% of the areas in China.

More stories on the TD-SCDMA saga here

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