Telefonica Expands Chinese Interest

(03 Feb 2009, BWCS Staff)

Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica has reportedly signed a new agreement to invest further in China. The company acquired a minority stake in China Netcom back in 2005, now, following Netcom's merger with China Unicom, Telefonica has signed an agreement with the latter to develop mobile and especially 3G services.

China Unicom was recently awarded a 3G licence in its home country and will operate services based on the western W-CDMA standard, which, coincidentally, is the same system employed by Telefonica in its home market and across its South American empire. The agreement between the two companies is said to include several areas of collaboration including the joint development of new wireless services, working together on international business and, perhaps most importantly, joint procurement of network equipment, devices and handsets. This last move will, at a stroke, boost both operators' purchasing power.

Telefonica is the largest private investor in China Unicom, with a 5.38 percent stake.


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