An item in today's Wall Street Journal caught my attention ("China Is Set to Spend Billions On Wireless Upgrade"). As the title implies, the country is looking at a massive upgrade to its existing cellular infrastructure. The timing of this revelation should come as no surprise, as China is gearing up to host the 2008 Summer Olympics (in Beijing).
With the long-awaited move to a 3G infrastructure, China again becomes somewhat of a Holy Grail for not just the infrastructure suppliers, but every vendor along the food chain. This starts with the component and software suppliers, and runs right through the handset makers.
Estimates of exactly how many dollars will actually be spent vary widely. I've heard anywhere from $10 billion to nearly $40 billion, which is a pretty big spread. That'll occur over the next four or five years.
The bigger question however, is who will benefit from that spending. Will it mostly go to vendors within China, or will the country open its doors to a more international base? With the amount of money being discussed, the answer to that question will go a long way in determining who's at the top of the heap at the end of this decade.