China Unicom releases 3G brand

BEIJING, -- China Unicom (0762.HK; 600050.SH; CHU.NYSE) has released the "WO" brand for its 3G business and plans to start publishing 3G mobile phone numbers on May 17. Now all three China's leading carriers have unveiled their own 3G brands. China Telecom (0728.HK; CHA.NYSE) has "e-surfing" (Tian Yi), and China Mobile (0941.HK; CHL.NYSE), G3. China Unicom's 3G brand features three design options, each targeting different user groups in the fields of business, home and vogue. The unveiling of the "WO" brand is the first step in the company's planned 3G business development. On May 17, the company will begin trial operations in the initial 55 cities with 3G networks established. Simultaneously as the network optimization completes in the original 55 cities, public bidding and network construction for the second batch of cities will begin. The promotion of the WCDMA business will begin to enter full swing by September when it issues more mobile phone numbers and designs more competing plans in the original 55 cities. China Unicom's March operation statistics revealed a net addition of 1.85 million GSM users in March, up 39.6 percent year on year and 12.7 percent month on month, which brought the total number to 137.69 million. In 2008, the company's average monthly new GSM user number was 1.067 million.