Nokia builds phone for Chinese 3G

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Nokia has announced its first phone that uses the Chinese 3G standard, TD-SCDMA, and hopes to release it, for use on China Mobile’s network, by the end of December 2009

Comment: China Mobile needs TD-SCDMA devices if its 3G roll-out is to be a success in competition with China Telecom, which is using Qualcomm’s 3G version, and China Unicom, which is using the global UMTS standard, both likely to result in lower prices for Chinese users. There is only a remote possibility that TD-SCDMA will find application in other markets — so Nokia has only one customer for the new terminal.

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Nokia has announced its first device for TD-SCDMA — China's domestic 3G standard — at an event in Beijing. The Nokia 6788 is the result of close collaboration between Nokia and the world’s largest mobile phone operator, China Mobile.

Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, CEO of Nokia, said at the launch: “Nokia sees TD-SCDMA as being central to the successful evolution of 3G in China, and so is fully committed to this 3G standard.”

The new device has a five-megapixel camera with a 70 millimetre QVGA display. It uses the Symbian S60 platform. Nokia says the terminal is “inspired by traditional Chinese furniture and architecture” and “incorporates Chinese design elements including traditional Chinese patterns on the back of the slide and the battery cover”. However the company has not yet published pictures of it.

TD-SCDMA is a Chinese 3G standard allocated to China Mobile, whose vice-president, Lu Xiangdong, commented: “We are excited to see the launch of Nokia 6788. With extensive experience in the China market, Nokia will provide Chinese consumers with TD-SCDMA solutions that are perfectly catered to their needs.”

China Mobile is known to be concerned about the cost of TD-SCDMA devices because it is so far a China-only standard — and because, of the three Chinese 3G operators, only China Mobile is using it.

“Such cooperation between the world’s largest operator and the world’s leading mobile phone manufacturer will provide an important boost to the development of TD-SCDMA in China,” said Lu. GTB