Navigation
21Vianet 2600Hz 3Com 3Leaf 4G 4G licensing 5G Africa Alcatel Shanghai Bell Alcatel-Lucent Alibaba Android antiitrust Apple APT Satellite Arete AT&T auction backbone Baidu Bain bandwidth base station Battery broadband cable CBN CCP censorship Cfius China China brands China FTTH China hi-tech China market China media China Mobile China Mobile Hong Kong China Science China Telecom China Unicom chips Ciena Cisco civil society CNNIC Communist Party convergence copyright CSL cybersecurity Datang drones Egypt Elop Ericsson EU Facebook FDD LTE FDD-LTE feature phones Fiberhome FLAG forecasts Foxconn FTZ Galaxy S3 Google GSMA GTI handset handsets Hisilicon HKBN HKIX HKT HKTV Hong Kong HTC Huawei Hugh Bradlow Hutchison India Infinera Innovation Intel internet investment iOS iPad iPad 2 iPhone IPv6 ITU Japan KDDI KT labour shortage Leadcore low-cost smartphone LTE MAC MAE Mandiant market access Mediatek Meego Miao Wei Microsoft MIIT mobile broadband mobile cloud mobile data mobile security mobile spam mobile TV mobile web Motorola music MVNO MWC national security NDRC New Postcom Nokia Nokia Siemens Nortel NSA NTT DoCoMo OTT Pacnet Panasonic patents PCCW piracy PLA politics Potevio price war private investment Project Loon Qualcomm quantum Reach regulation Reliance Communications Ren Zhengfei Renesys RIM roaming Samsung sanctions Scania Schindler security shanzhai Sharp SKT Skype smartphones Snowden software Sony Ericsson spectrum Spreadtrum startups subsea cables subsidies supply chain Symbian tablets Tata Communications TCL TD LTE TD-LTE TD-SCDMA Telstra Twitter urban environment USA US-China vendor financing Vitargent Vodafone New Zealand WAC WCIT Web 2.0 web freedom WeChat WhatsApp Wi-Fi Wikileaks Wimax Windows Mobile WIPO WTO Xi Guohua Xiaolingtong Xinjiang Xoom Youku YTL ZTE

Entries in regulation (3)

Monday
Dec012014

China commits to private broadband, with limits  

China gets serious about introduce private investment into broadband, with trials planned for 16 cities. But the game is stacked in favour of the incumbents, and it's not even clear who can play.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jan142013

The flaws in the MVNO plan 

Who’s interested in China’s MVNO market? Mobile phone and electronics retailers, like D.Phone, Suning, Gome and Funtalk, according to this report at 21cbn.com.

That makes sense. MVNOs are about brand and customer service. Plus these guys are already in the mobile retailing game.

It makes sense too that they’ve already held preliminary talks with the MIIT via its research arm. The MIIT’s priority pretty clearly seems to be to seek out strong local brands to become MVNOs.

However, creating a competitive telecom landscape doesn’t appear to be a priority.

The concerns expressed by analysts and would-be licensees reflect this. They’re worried about the cost of resourcing an MVNO player, the lack of scale, the wholesale price and the availability of number portability,  none of which is satisfied by the MIIT’s vague stipulations.

For example, the wholesale price has to be lower than the operator’s lowest retail price. As one unnamed executive says, if the lowest price is 48 yuan and the wholesale is 50 yuan, “we still have no way of launching a service, because we still have site, customer service and operating costs.”

Once again China has managed to avoid a quarter of a century of telecoms regulatory experience. 

Elsewhere (including Hong Kong) successful regulation is about ensuring new players get access to infrastructure at a reasonable price and providing protection against predatory pricing and obstructionist behaviour.

The MVNO plan skips most of that. It may improve over the consultation period but basically we are stuck with the traditional post-hoc regulation. New entrants will run into trouble and the ministry will have to step in and broker an agreement. That could take up to a year.

With the spirit of reform pervading the country, perhaps now is the time to consider a dedicated telecom regulator. It can execute the detail of competition and allow the ministry to manage the big policy picture across its vast portfolio.

It can build up a body of competition expertise that will help consumers get a better deal and make the government look like it really cares. That’s a win all-round, but the probability of it comig to pass is close to zero.

The incoming players will need deep pockets and steady nerves.

Thursday
Jun162011

China mulls private telecom investment

China’s MIIT has reportedly drawn up a plan to allow private investment in telecom infrastructure.

Click to read more ...