The people's daily reports today that China Mobile will introduce a nationwide GPRS mobile telecom system this Friday.
The state-backed firm has an existing customer base of 161 million mobile phone users and is upgrading to 2.5G from it's existing 2G technology mainly used for voice, the state organ says.
China Mobile claims that over 15.9 billion SMS messages were sent last year, generating nearly $200 million in revenue, but it is upgrading the system because the current technology has severe restrictions.
The other big Chinese firm, China Unicom, introduced CDMA (code division multiple access) services earlier this year but although China Mobile is plumping for GPRS, the technology is not quite ripe, with high speed Internet connections still something of a pipe dream.
The paper says that China Mobile wants its services to be as succesful as i-mode in the Japanese market.
News source: The Inquirer