Integration brings out competition

08:01, July 02, 2010      

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The integration project of telecom, radio, TV and Internet networks will be rolled out in 12 cities including Beijing and Shanghai for trial, the State Council said Thursday, without disclosing execution details.

Actually some key issues including settling accounts between different networks were mentioned in the trial plans, quoted an unnamed source with State Administration of Radio Film and Television (SARFT) as saying.

"The local government could deal with some issues considering specific situations," the source said.

The State Council passed a general proposal for network integration in January, as the official plan was released at the beginning of last month.

Users in the 12 cities can watch videos via mobile phones, surf the Internet through a single network, and they will have many options for radio and television programs not just from qualified broadcasting enterprises but also from telecom enterprises. At the same time, the broadcasting enterprises will also be permitted to operate telecom and Internet services.

Previously, the three networks were run separately.

"The tri-network plan will introduce competition between the telecom and TV operators who used to enjoy monopolies in their fields," said Yang Jingyu, an analyst with Gartner, a research firm.

"But to some extent, the wireless TV operators are at a disadvantage because the cable TV networks in different provinces are scattered across different cities and towns, unlike telecom providers," Yang said.

"It still takes time to popularize the three-network plan all over the country because cooperating in different cities is really a tough job," she added.

Shen Zheyi, the research director with Gartner, noted that how to coordinate the interests between different official parties including SARFT and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, which control the various networks, will be the major issue when trying to bring the networks together.

The stock prices of cable TV providers Shaanxi BC&TV Network Intermediary Company and Beijing Gehua CATV Network Company increased 1.61 percent and 1.59 percent respectively at market close Thursday.

Source: China Daily


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