There was a report on "VoIP in China" at TMCnet.com and Theregister retailed it yesterday. VoIP technology is a revolution brought by the IP prevalence. It lowers the operation costs of both the carriers and the consumers. See my previous post on "Skype blocked at China", where I expressed my points on the way in China for Skype and other web phones.
In fact, the revenue growth of those two fix line operators (China Telecom and China Netcom) depends on their broad-band internet access and some of the value-added services. But the growth of such two kind of services can not fill the revenue hole by voice revenue decline. Especially when the leading mobile operator – China Mobile claimed a few days ago that they would by far lower their roaming and inbound call price. That's a hard time for CTG and CNC, hurted by the "replacing consumption". The contribution of their PHS products is just to collect money by burning more money.
At 2007, the main four operators will get their own 3G licenses. And the consolidation and upgrade of their BSS/OSS systems will be reaching a milestone to support more multiple-play products. It's a critical point for CTG and CNC, who have huge scale local communication networks. Theoretically they will have a fair competition base.
Currently there are a drastic argument at engadget.com, arose by a post on "China gives VoIP two year sentence". I agree and appreciate the comments from Terence and LG and etc. China never ban Skype, never claim Skype illegal. People can use Skype just as other part of the world. China just doesn't want to grant such a license to permit INTERCONNECT with PSTN. That's the right of a government to decide when and how to grant such licenses, no business with the socialism and politics.
Here is the main points of TMCnet.com:
VoIP In China: We Express Our "Doubtness"
By David Sims
TMCnet Contributing Editor
The Beijing News is reporting — Page 1, no less — that "it is said that a company from southern China obtained the first VoIP service operation license as a pilot."
Telecom carriers and virtual network operators will be able to apply for the license by 2007 when the country will fully open the market, but "experts from China's Ministry of Information Industry, the industry regulator, expressed their doubtness."
It's not specified what they expressed their doubtness about.
Earlier, The Beijing News says, the ministry "approved the fixed-line carrier China Telecom to launch experiments in Shenzhen and Shangrao, two cities in Guangdong and Jiangxi Provinces, and ratified the counterpart China Netcom to present the same business in Changchun and Taian, cities of Jilin and Shandong Provinces."
But the two operators were not willing to do so because "the VoIP service will erode a great deal of profit from the fixed-phone service," according to sources familiar with the matter.
VoIP isn't zooming up the charts in the ol' People's Republic — enter "VoIP in China" on Yahoo! News and get exactly two hits. Yet there are those who are predicting big things in 2007. Well, bigger than what's happening now, anyway.