Major third-generation mobile operators in Hong Kong oppose the government's plan to issue a new licence, arguing that the move will lead to increased competiton and a cut in capital investment. However, China Unicom supports the government and hopes the licence will be issued before June to give the new 3G operator time to launch the service for the Beijing Olympics next year. China Unicom also said the price for the 15-year licence should be much lower than the amount the four 3G licensees paid in 2001, which was equivalent to HK$1.3 billion for a 15-year commitment. The Office of the Telecommunications Authority issued a public consultation document last year on the possibility of a new CDMA 2000 3G licence in October this year. Market watchers said the new licence was tailor-made for China Unicom to get into the local market, as the mainland operator needed the network for inbound roaming for its CDMA service in the mainland. Hong Kong CSL, one of the four 3G licence holders, said in its submission to the consultation that there was no need to introduce the CDMA 3G licence as the market was quite competitive. 'The introduction of the new licence could effectively reduce the funds available to existing operators for operational and capital expenditure resulting in less investment in [the] network,' CSL said. Sunday Communications, a mobile arm of PCCW, said the new licence 'has the appearance of a political exercise without regarding the anticipated market requirements and government policies, and the potential impact on the existing mobile operations in Hong Kong'. Hutchison Telecoms suggested the government should license a CDMA roaming network that would cater for voice and data roaming for visitors using CDMA handsets.