China Telecom plans to procure 50-80 million CDMA handsets in 2010, of which 70% will be inexpensive models with average sales prices of 200 yuan (US$29), to meet expected demand from new subscribers mainly in rural areas, according to Ker Zhang, CEO of Taiwan-based 3G IC design house VIA Telecom, which supplies handset solutions to the carrier.
China Telecom, the sole operator of CDMA 2000 networks in China, added 2.5 million 3G subscribers in September 2009, bringing the total number of new 3G subscribers secured in the first three quarters of this year to 18 million, according to media reports in China.
VIA Telecom has managed to expand the number of its clients for chipset solutions to 70 in 2009 from 20-30 in 2008, Zhang remarked,
In addition to cooperating with China Telecom, VIA Telecom is currently also working with Nokia, Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics (LGE), and Inventec Appliances, according to industry sources.
Buoyed by strong demand from China Telecom, VIA Telecom's shipments of handset solutions are likely to increase 50% in 2010, the sources said.
Zhang noted that VIA Telecom also plans to launch chipset solutions supporting multimedia handsets and CDMA EV-DO Rev A technology as well as CDMA EV-DO/GSM dual-mold solutions.
The company will also step into the development of the 4G TD-LTE chipset solutions in cooperation China Mobile, Zhang revealed.