According to a Chinese reporter citing a reliable source, PHS will finally be deployed in Shanghai's city center some time this year. Current CDMA network in the city will stop operating at the end of this year, and current subscribers will be moved to the PHS network.
When contacted by the reporter, Shanghai Telecom says that no final decision has been reached yet.
The source claims that Shanghai Telecom will deploy 20,000-30,000 PHS base stations within this year to cover the whole city. It's possible that it will begin to sign up subscribers on May 17, the annual Telecom Day. Tariff will be the same as regular fixed-line phones.
Shanghai is the only major city in China that has not deployed PAS so far. But with China Telecom raising its new subs target this year from 10m to 15m, deployment in Shanghai has become crucial to achieve that target.
Ying Wu had previously commented to the same reporter that Shangahi should allow PAS to cover the whole city, not just the suburb like presently, in order to be successful in Shanghai.
If UTSI gets the Shanghai contract, the stock price will skyrocket.
If PAS can make it in Shanghai, heck, bring it to New York. Just kidding.
test equipment and interoperability testing are two different animals, totally. Go visit CSCO's interoperability test lab and you will sec a couple of acres of everyone elses router, IP, etc, etc, etc. equipment. For Phy testing, you buy a phy tester. For interop, you buy or borrow (this is called "cooperation") the other guys equipment. If you are cisco, like msoft, you beat back people trying to have you test their equipment. Worse, if you are a competitor, CSCO will make you buy at list price their equipment and give you zero tech support. Ask JNPR how much cooperation they get from csco.
According to Shanghai's best-known local newspaper Wen Hui Bao, citing an unnamed authority within Shanghai Telecom, the carrier has just decided to start constructing a PHS network in Shanghai's urban center. (Link below is in Chinese.)
The network will cover much of the city and start to sign up customers some time later this year.
Reportedly, since PHS's suburban debut in Shanghai last May, it has already developed more than 200,000 customers. Concern over the complex urban environment presented by the numerous tall buildings as well as concern over the projected high cost of network construction have long prevented PHS' entry to the urban center of Shanghai. The reasons the decision is finally made to bring in PHS, according to Shanghai Telecom, are that both the suburban users and some urban residents have expressed their strong desire to be able to use PHS in the city center. And besides, technology advancement has allowed PHS to cover a wider area, thus reducing deployment cost for the carrier. According to a knowledgeable source, the plan calls for the deployment of about 10,000 base stations in the urban area. Tariff will be 30 yuan/month, .11 yuan/min of usage, and no charge for the receiving parties, just like in the suburbs.
Developing 200,000 subs in the suburbs alone since last May is an impressive achievement. It compares well with known success stories such as Beijing (510,000 subs) and Guangzhou (600,000 subs) which have seen great city-wide promotions. It is especially interesting when one considers the lukewarm reception PHS first encountered in Shanghai's suburbs. Subscriber growth must have really picked up within the last few months, no doubt prompting Shanghai Telecom to open up the potentially lucrative city center to PHS development.
With the floodgate finally open, suburban people will have reason to embrace Xiaolingtong even more, and the folks in the city center will finally have an opportunity to enjoy a service that have long been denied them but that have seen such great success and popularity almost wherever it shows up in the country.
Great reception in Shanghai will be a nice feather in Xiaolingtong's crown. It will underscore XLT's great potential for continuing success throughout China. It will certainly add more impetus to UTSI's promotion of PAS to other cities around the world.
Allowing XLT to enter Shanghai also seems to show that China Telecom does not expect big 3G revenue for at least a few years to come. In the mean time, it wants to participate in the high-growth mobile market. And metropolitan Shanghai residents should be among the best group of people to market and to test the various added value services Xiaolingtong has been able to deliver. That will give China Telecom valuable insights into the kind of 3G services the market will be receptive for in the future, not to mention developing experiences for operating a mobile network as well as developing a client base from which to nurture potential 3G customers for the future.
A local newspaper in Shanghai cited a Shanghai Telecom official as confirming an earlier rumor that the carrier has plans to sign up 1 million PAS users in Shanghai this year. (in Chinese)
Base station deployment is said to be busily underway.
If UTSI gets this contract, coupled with recent announcement of Cisco collaboration in IP core network and 3G, as well as the PAS ramp up in Vietnam, I'll have to rethink about my previous high-40's-to-50 target for this year. I want to see how the ample cash is used before I make an upward revision of my target price. Besides making a great acquisition, if it allows UTSI to sign up more deals with more carriers overseas, that will be money wisely used.
Expect a very positive Q1 conference call.