LONDON -- Siemens, the main backer of the third generation mobile standard TD-SCDMA (time-division synchronous code-division multiple access), which is tipped for use in China's emerging mobile sector, has formed a joint venture with Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., to promote the standard worldwide.
The companies have also signed a memorandum of understanding to develop, manufacture and market TD-SCDMA technology.
The new company, with an investment exceeding US$100 million, is to be based in Beijing, with Siemens holding 51 percent of the joint venture, and China's leading telecommunication player, Huawei Technologies, holding 49 percent.
Christoph Caselitz, president of Siemens Mobile Networks, and Xu Zhijun, president of Huawei Wireless Business, both expressed confidence that their combined strengths and know-how will give TD-SCDMA the necessary push for success in China.
The Chinese Ministry of Information Industry last October allocated 155-MHz of spectrum to TD-SCDMA, paving the way for the commercial use of the technology throughout the country.
Siemens Mobile and Huawei Technologies said they are confident that if TD-SCDMA succeeds in the Chinese market, it could encourage operators elsewhere to adopt the standard.
This seems unlikely as most regions have already staked their 3G future on other air interface standards, including wideband CDMA, also knows as UMTS and cdma2000.
TD-SCDMA infrastructure products are already undergoing field tests in China, and first commercial products of the joint venture will be available early next year. For instance, China Mobile, China's largest telecom provider and largest user of GSM/General Packet Radio Service networks, reportedly has completed voice tests for the spec in Sichuan province.
The companies say the joint venture's products will help operators to attract more mobile phone subscribers especially in low-penetration areas, while also suitable for the rollout of highly efficient networks to cover existing and future demands.
Siemens started its development in TD-SCDMA back in 1998 and has invested more than $170 million so far. It will be contributing to the joint venture development know-how and products as well as 160 Siemens employees already working in Beijing.
Siemens Mobile Networks' Caselitz said: "We are proud to work with Huawei Technologies, a partner who shares the same vision and aspiration for TD-SCDMA. Together, we will make TD-SCDMA a success in China. Siemens mobile is able to offer both technologies TD-SCDMA and W-CDMA to Chinese mobile operators. It is Siemens' stated objective to be the 3G market leader in China."