China Unicom plans to rapidly expand its 3G presence, according to comments made by company Chairman Chang Xiaobing in The Wall Street Journal.
Xiaobing said the company wants to increase its 3G subscribers by more than 1 million per month and plans to launch budget-friendly smartphones to spur growth.
China Unicom launched 3G services across China on Oct. 1. By the end of that month, the carrier had more than 1 million 3G subscribers, according to Xiaobing.
Last week, China Unicom began carrying the iPhone 3GS, but with an asking price of almost 7,000 yuan – $1,024 in U.S. currency – and its reception has been tepid.
China Unicom is currently the only Chinese carrier of the iPhone, but faces significant competition for the device from cheap, black market models. So far, the carrier has signed up 5,000 subscribers for the device.