At first, it seemed like a reason to gloat: China Mobile employees were using their arch-rival's telephone system extremely heavily in an area of Wenzhou, Zhejiang, where many students lived. Then the China Telecom employees found out why, and allegations of dirty tricks flew as fast at it took to connect a call. But that was the point. China Central Television reported on Saturday that after China Telecom's network in the area was jammed for several days the previous week, suspicious employees managed to stop a China Mobile minivan last Monday. In it they found four employees making more than 200 cellphones, with China Telecom SIM cards, ring hot. To the China Telecom employees, China Mobile was trying to overload China Telecom's network capacity in the area and frustrate China Telecom's student subscribers. If the frustration lasted long enough, China Mobile could persuade some China Telecom users to switch to other services - such as theirs. CCTV showed a group of cellphones on the floor inside the minivan, and the news report said all the phones contained China Telecom SIM cards. The China Telecom workers complained to police, and at a nearby police station, the China Mobile people said they were simply testing the stability of their rival's network. 'Don't we have the right to test whatever mobile network?' the Oriental Morning Post reported a China Mobile employee as saying. A China Telecom official told the newspaper that connecting to its network with so many cellphones would inevitably affect the quality of calls, especially during the daytime. 'We do test our own network from time to time, but we use only three or four phones and usually do it at night, when the network is less crowded,' he said. The case has been turned over to the Zhejiang Telecommunications Bureau. China Mobile is the world's largest mobile phone service provider, with more than 490 million subscribers on the mainland. China Telecom, which entered the mobile phone market last year, has 40 million. China Telecom recently launched a promotion for college students; for 300 yuan (HK$342), each receives a phone and free nationwide calls to other China Telecom users. China Mobile staff in Wenzhou saw the promotion as a form of unfair competition, and the battle began.