China Unicom Aims for A Third of China's 3G Market

China Unicom aims to capture a third of subscribers in China's third-generation (3G) mobile phone market after it merges with China Netcom.

China Unicom said this week it expected to get a third generation (3G) licence after it merges with China Netcom and that capital expenditure could amount to $14.6 billion in the next two years to fund wireless infrastructure.

The enlarged group "aims to capture a one-third share of the future 3G market in terms of number of subscribers, optimise the structure of its client base, increase its business income and enhance its profitability", China Unicom said in a circular to shareholders.

"Unicom intends to continue with the existing business of Netcom and has no intention to introduce any major changes to the business of Netcom or to redeploy any fixed assets of the Netcom Group," the company added.

Beijing unveiled a long-awaited revamp of its telecoms sector on May 24, designed to boost competition, in what has been called the world's largest industrial reorganisation.

The plan called for a merger of China Unicom, the smaller of two mobile players, with China Netcom, as part of a wider plan to create three national, full-service telecoms carriers.

Shares of China Unicom, which have fallen more than 18 percent so far in 2008, eased a further 0.14 percent to HK$14.58 in late Friday morning.