China's two fixed-line carriers have shown signs of increasing aggressiveness in expanding their wireless local loop services after the telecommunications regulator said it would delay issuing third-generation (3G) mobile licences. Industry sources said both carriers - China Telecommunications and China Network - were in talks with telecom equipment suppliers on the feasibility of building wireless local loop - or xiaolingtong - networks using the code division multiple access (CDMA) standard. The chairman and president of mobile operator China United Telecommunications, Yang Xianzu, said he had heard about the fixed-line carriers' moves. 'I've heard about this but haven't seen them taking any action,' Mr Yang said. China United vice-president Wang Jianzhou said the firm opposed such plans and would complain to the Ministry of Information Industry if they went ahead. 'If they did build a CDMA network, it would certainly have a big impact on us. The government has said we're the only ones in China allowed to build and operate CDMA networks,' Mr Wang said. 'We certainly will complain if they make any concrete moves.' The fixed-line carriers' moves to expand their xiaolingtong services comes after the Minister of Information Industry Wu Jichuan signalled a delay in issuing 3G licences. The government had said the fixed-line carriers would not receive mobile licences until 3G licences were issued, which the market expected would be some time next year. However, Mr Wu said the regulator would wait until 3G technologies and market needs matured before considering the licence issue. The general manager of China Netcom's Hubei subsidiary He Jiang said xiaolingtong services would have more business value if the government delayed issuing 3G licences. 'If the government is to issue 3G licences soon, there is no point investing in xiaolingtong. You can't recoup the investment within a couple of years,' he said, although adding that he was unfamiliar with the situation. Both China Telecom and China Netcom are offering xiaolingtong services by using the personal access system supplied by Nasdaq-listed UTStarcom and the personal handyphone system provided by other equipment suppliers such as Shenzhen-listed ZTE. China is estimated to have about 10 million xiaolingtong users, according to UTStarcom, which supplies more than 60 per cent of the country's xiaolingtong equipment. City-wide xiaolingtong wireless services provides limited mobility and partially connect to the fixed-line backbone. They are a low-budget alternative to full wireless services and are charged at a rate similar to fixed-line services. United States-based telecom firm Crestar International, which is involved in the talks with the two fixed-line carriers and equipment suppliers, said the CDMA wireless local loop technology was far better than present technology. He said carriers using it could migrate to a stand-alone full cellular network in the future. 'The only different [between a full CDMA wireless network and CDMA wireless local loop] is regulation,' Crestar International president and chief executive Asif Qureshi said.