The Olympics have always provided a vehicle for the host countries to captivate the world with their unique architecture, culture, and capabilities. With the Beijing Olympics quickly approaching, the Chinese government is hoping that everyone will see and hear what China can do in mobile communications by promoting the launch of its homegrown third-generation (3G) wireless technology.
To meet that goal, China's largest cellular-services company, China Mobile
Developing its own "homegrown" standard was intended to help Chinese companies gain more leverage in the global market for communications products and services, including the ability to avoid paying royalties for the use of other standards. But technology developer Qualcomm
And even though many in the industry see China's 3G technology as being not yet ready for prime time, global equipment providers such as Nokia
To date, nothing has happened, though rumors have swirled for years that the government would revamp the communications sector and consolidate the major players -- China Mobile, China Unicom, China Telecom
Many Chinese and other industry media sources cite the nascent nature of the technology as the primary reason it has taken so long to deploy commercial networks. With major trials now commencing, the world will get to see just how close the platform really is to prime time. At that point, investors will get a better chance to gauge the potential of having hundreds of millions of Chinese cell-phone users upgrade to more feature-rich services -- and pay service providers handsomely for it.
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Fool contributor Dave Mock is petitioning to have hot dog-eating contests included in the Olympic Games. He owns shares of Motorola, Qualcomm, and Alcatel Lucent and is the author of The Qualcomm Equation. The Fool's disclosure policy scored a perfect 10 in every event it entered.