It makes sense for mainland fixed-line giant China Telecommunications to skip second-generation (2G) services when it is granted a mobile licence, according to company president Chang Xiaobing. Mr Chang said, given the technology development, China Telecom should go straight to third-generation (3G) technology instead of first building a 2G network. However, he added the carrier had yet to make a decision on what mobile technology it would adopt. The good news is that China's telecommunications regulator has accelerated the process of issuing new mobile licences 'because of pressure from all fronts', Mr Chang told fund managers at a conference organised by Merrill Lynch. Telecoms equipment suppliers joined calls by China Telecom and China Netcom Group, the country's other fixed-line carrier, in urging the Ministry of Information Industry to issue new licences as soon as possible to boost the mobile sector. But Mr Chang said he was unable to offer a timetable. 'Regarding the question of timing, I'm afraid only the regulator can answer that,' he said. The delay in issuing mobile licences to the two fixed-line carriers has hindered their growth and forced them to aggressively expand their city-wide Xiaolingtong wireless services to attract cellular users. In the first five months of this year, the fixed-line pair signed up about eight million Xiaolingtong users nationwide, bringing their total to 20 million. Mr Chang said some Xiaolingtong users, who account for about 10 per cent of China Telecom's subscribers, could potentially be transferred to its full mobile network. Even after it was granted a mobile licence, he said China Telecom would retain Xiaolingtong services for a niche market. 'The two [full mobile and Xiaolingtong services] are not conflicting businesses,' he said. Separately, Mr Chang said the company's H-share arm had registered a stronger than expected 65 per cent growth in broadband subscription in the first five months of this year to bring the total to 2.27 million users.