AT&T stops bidding for telecoms

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 17 October, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 17 October, 1996, 12:00am

United States telecommunications giant AT&T (China) has stopped bidding for projects on building telecommunications networks in China.

Chairman William Warwick said the company had not found the right opportunity for participation.

He said the company was looking for 'some forms of a structure that allow us to add more value to the operation'.

China restricts foreigners from holding and operating telecommunications networks on the mainland.

Many foreign firms have circumvented the restrictions by setting up with domestic parties joint ventures engaged only in building the network.

Company president Arthur Kobler said the prevailing structure adopted by its counterparts was 'far from satisfactory in terms of the type of operation we would like to have'.

Lucent Technologies, spun off from AT&T, wants to capitalise on rising opportunity from China's adoption of CDMA (code division multiple access) mobile telephone technology.

Mr Warwick said Lucent, which commanded about 5 per cent share of China's telecoms equipment market last year, was negotiating with mainland parties about setting up joint ventures to make CDMA equipment.

China, which has no telecoms law, is currently drafting one.

Mr Warwick said the national law would be introduced in five years and would separate the ministry's role as a regulator and an operator.