Champion in Chengdu phone venture

Kenneth Ko

CHAMPION Technology Holdings has entered into a US$30 million joint venture to provide digital cellular service in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province.

The service provided by the venture between Champion and the Telecommunications Bureau of Chengdu is to cover both mobile and fixed telephone systems.

It will employ the first digital system using the advanced US E-TDMA standard.

Mr Paul Kan, president and chief executive of Champion, said the joint venture would represent a significant move in advancing China's telecommunications technology and services.

''The strong demand for telecommunications brought by China's double-digit economic growth will also be alleviated,'' he said.

With the Chengdu project, Champion said it had become the first foreign company in China that could directly inter-connect with the public local network to provide local and international telephone services to the public.

The joint venture expects to install the digital cellular system in October, with public services due to be launched in November.

Champion has established paging networks in more than 20 cities in China, including Chengdu , which has a population of 10 million.

In India, Champion is a member of a consortium short-listed by the Department of Telecommunications to provide public paging services.

In February, Champion led an international consortium to bid for Hongkong's second fixed network licence for telephone services.

It has also applied for a licence to operate enhanced vehicle location and information services through a satellite-based global positioning system.