The operator is also set to officially launch its 3G service Thursday, having spent most of this year rolling out its WCDMA network and connecting customers (430,000 3G handset users and 100,000 data card subscribers) to its trial network. (See Unicom Enters Third Phase and China Unicom Plans Massive Capex Hike.)
Unicom, which recently strengthened its ties with Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF), also announced today that it is buying back the near 900 million shares (about 3.8 percent of Unicom's stock) currently owned by Korea's SK Telecom (Nasdaq: SKM) for about 10 billion Hong Kong dollars ($1.29 billion). (See China Unicom, Telefónica Strengthen Ties.)
Meanwhile, the country's National Telecommunications Commission has unveiled plans to hold an auction of 3G spectrum in December, according to Reuters, but it's clear that the process faces opposition, as this Bangkok Post story reveals.
Find out more about developments in the Asia/Pacific IPTV market at TelcoTV Asia, a two-day event to be staged in Shanghai, October 13 and 14.
— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading