They say really good Peking Duck takes hours of patient work to prepare properly, and rushing the delicacy ahead of schedule only serves to spoil the fancied dish. In kind, global telecom suppliers are hoping the strong measure of patience in rolling out advanced wireless services in China creates an appetizing opportunity -- and not a lame duck.
While wireless service providers China Mobile
Equipment suppliers such as Nokia
But the ensuing gold rush of equipment upgrades that will eventually come may not be the windfall once expected for the incumbent global suppliers. Investors should keep in mind that the Chinese government is keen on helping foster domestic capabilities -- meaning local companies and partnerships such as ZTE and Huawei may walk away with the lion's share of contracts. The Chinese Ministry of Information also favors a "homegrown" flavor of 3G technology that positions the country better when it comes to paying technology royalties to foreign companies such as Qualcomm
With the patient approach of the Chinese government, it's likely that the wealth in future network upgrades will be widely spread across technologies and companies, with no one company dominating the expansion. Still, the eventual licensing of new services will be good news for all companies supplying phones, infrastructure, or services in the booming Chinese market. They'll just have to wait and let the duck smoke a little longer.
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Fool contributor Dave Mock never liked duck -- until he had Peking Duck in Beijing. He owns shares of Motorola, Alcatel-Lucent, and Qualcomm. Dave is the author of The Qualcomm Equation. The Fool has a disclosure policy.