Top telecommunications regulator Wu Jichuan has broken his silence on the break-up of the state's fixed-line monolith. Mr Wu, head of the Ministry of Information Industry (MII), confirmed that China Telecommunications would be spilt into northern and southern firms, according to a report on the China Central Television (CCTV) yesterday. The confirmation is the first revelation to be made in public by a senior Chinese official on the spilt - a move set to change the sector's landscape. 'The State Council has decided that [China Telecom] be spilt into southern and northern firms,' Mr Wu said in an interview with CCTV on Sunday. 'The northern firm will become China Netcom Jitong Communications Group, comprising networks in 10 provinces in the north, after incorporating China Netcom and Jitong Communications. 'The southern firm, including networks in 20 provinces in the south, will remain as China Telecom Group Co,' Mr Wu said. 'The split will mean more competition between the two telephone networks.' The remarks were also the first official confirmation that China Netcom and Jitong Communications - two growing fixed-line operators - would become part of the northern company. Beijing hopes to break China Telecom's monopoly and prepare the telecoms market for foreign competition with accession into the World Trade Organisation. Asked abot the timetable on the spilt, Mr Wu said: 'Work needs to be done. Specifics about personnel, the transfer of assets and networks are being worked out.' Mr Wu said the spilt did not involve mobile-phone services. Analysts were concerned about integration of the northern company, which comprises three rival firms.