The latest move in the restructuring of China's telecom market could prove to be a dramatic one, as the Chinese government issued a circular calling for China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom to open their networks to rival firms and to share network construction costs and responsibilities.
The network sharing policy could help loosen the hold that those top three carriers would otherwise have on China's market. By having the companies share network construction, the government is hoping to avoid redundant network build-outs. When a carrier is planning new infrastructure in a particular market, existing carriers in that market are to advise the new entrant if they have facilities already there that can be shared.
So far, the restructuring of China's telecom sector has witnessed China Telecom acquiring China Unicom's CDMA network, China Mobile merging with telco China Tietong, and China Unicom merging with China Netcom.
- see this report at China Daily
China Telecom and China Unicom shareholders approved restructuring deals last month
China's telecom industry makeover began last spring