China issues 4G mobile licences
China has issued licences for "fourth generation", or 4G, mobile phone services, the government said Wednesday, in a move to boost economic growth and job creation.
The Ministry of Information and Internet Technology said in a statement it granted the three state-owned operators—China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom—4G licences based on the country's home-grown TD-LTE standard.
So-called 4G networks provide faster and better-quality mobile services.
The move is expected to usher in a new round of investment in telecom equipment, handsets and software, boosting consumption and economic growth, the ministry said in a separate statement.
"With the construction of 4G networks and the launch of new 4G services, economic growth will be driven and more jobs will be created," it said.
The commercial introduction of the 3G network generated nearly four million jobs and 2.7 trillion yuan ($443 billion) in relevant investments over the three years from 2009, it added.
French telecom giant Alcatel-Lucent announced in September that it won a contract from China Mobile to build part of the company's 4G network.
This year China Mobile, the world's top mobile operator, had invested $7 billion as of August to build the network.
The ministry said it would encourage the three domestic operators to share resources in building the network to "avoid overlapping construction".
The official Xinhua news agency reported last month that China Mobile will start providing 4G service on December 18.
© 2013 AFP