It didn’t get a lot of attention, but it's news that could have some far-reaching effects. On January 20, the Chinese Ministry of Information Industry (MII) approved TD-SCDMA (Time Division Synchronous Code Division Multiple Access) as a national technology standard for 3G mobile communications.
This move probably doesn't come as a surprise to too many people, but it's about time that an official announcement was made. Tests with TD-SCDMA have been taking place in China for a few years already.
Handset makers have been on hold with their designs until the announcement became official. The Chinese government hasn't issued any 3G licenses yet, but they should be coming shortly, at least before the end of the year.
The basic TD-SCDMA technology was originally developed by Siemens AG and offered as a potential standard for the European 3G standard. However, it lost out there to Wideband CDMA (WCDMA).
Note that it's still possible that China may offer 3G licenses to operate using WCDMA (or CDMA-2000) to operate alongside TD-SCDMA. So stay tuned.