The CDMA (Code Division MultipleAccess) network, a 2.5G mobile telecommunications network, started operations Tuesday in Beijing.
Vice-Premier Wu Bangguo attended the network's opening ceremonyand started up the operation of the network.
In 1999, the State Council approved the construction of the CDMA network. In May last year China Unicom began to construct thenetwork, the first phase of which was completed at the end of lastyear.
China Unicom is the only company in China with authorization to construct and operate a CDMA network.
Yang Xianzu, the company's chairman, said the first phase of the network has the capacity for 15.15 million subscribers, and covers 330 prefecture-level cities and 2,200 counties in 31 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions.
China Unicom has signed roaming agreements with ten countries and regions including the United States, the Republic of Korea, Japan and Australia.
In 2001, China Unicom started the second and a three year phasewhich when completed will give the CDMA network nationwide coverage and a total capacity for 50 million subscribers, which will be the largest CDMA network in the world.