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ZTE expects 3G data card sales to triple

ZTE Corp expects to triple data card sales this year on booming demand in the domestic market which has entered the 3G era, the country's biggest public telecommunications equipment maker said yesterday.

The Shenzhen-listed firm forecast its total sales of data cards will surpass 10 million units in 2009, and domestic sales will account for one-third.

"It's nice to access the Internet on smart phones but it's better to use laptops to surf online due to the bigger screen size and longer battery life," said Adam Zhang, president of ZTE's mobile broadband device division.

The data cards can be plugged into laptops for Internet access through a cellular network, which means people can access the Internet wherever a mobile signal is available.

Sales of 3G data cards, whose speed is many times faster than a 2G card, will be widely accepted by Chinese consumers, Zhang predicted.

As the 3G network becomes more widespread and coupled with the low costs of data services and a subsidy by telecommunication carriers, sales of 3G data cards are set to rise in China, according to In-Stat, a United States-based consulting firm.

The data cards are now sold with the telcos' mobile broadband packages.

ZTE tendered to supply 80 percent of China Mobile's 3G data cards, half of China Unicom's demand and 30 percent of China Telecom's cards, according to Zhang.

In January, 3G licenses were issued to the three telcos. The 3G technology allows users to enjoy high-speed Internet access as well as film downloads and video calls.



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