A number of China Mobile’s regional divisions have started shutting down their 3G only base stations, as the Chinese developed 3G standard struggles to maintain a customer base.
Citing local publications, the semi-official People’s Daily reported that the decision wasn’t taken by China Mobile’s head office, but by local offices on a per-needs basis.
However, the officials confirmed that China Mobile won’t invest further in the home grown TD-SCDMA based 3G standard, and will focus on 4G services in future.
The shut-down base stations were towers that can only support 3G services, and lacked an upgrade path to 4G.
China Mobile invested around $30.7 billion in its 3G the network, and headlines have it recently that these money has “come to naught.”
The network was never popular with consumers, and China Mobile’s two rival networks were able to offer faster download speeds and a wider range of handsets by relying on the wider supported 3G standards.
It’s being suggested that the shutting down of the 3G towers marks the beginning of the end of this local 3G standard.