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Chinese Operators to Spend Nearly $3 Billion on Earthquake Repairs

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China's three telecoms operators are reported to be planning to spend over RMB 20 billion (USD2.93 billion) during 2009 to repair and upgrades networks affected by the Sichuan Province earthquake. According to the announcement, China Telecom will invest USD1.47 billion), China Telecom USD1.26 billion, and China Unicom USD483.74 million.

The Telecommunications Administration of Sichuan Province said it will work with telecom operators to combine satellite and terrestrial systems to form an emergency telecommunications system.

China Telecom will focus the majority of its spending on repairing its legacy landline services before working on its newly acquired mobile network.

Guo Ling, an employee from China Mobile's network construction department, told the Interfax news agency that China Mobile is building super base stations that can survive extreme weather conditions in areas of Sichuan and other provinces that are prone to natural disasters.

China Unicom aims to rebuild its GSM network in Sichuan to cover 95 percent of the population in disaster areas by 2010

The network operators have collectively spent around USD1.8 billion on repairing their networks since the earthquake one year ago. The 7.9 scale earthquake damaged some 28,700 base stations, toppled over 142,000 telegraph poles and ripped up some 29,000 km of telecoms cables.

On the web: Interfax

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