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China Unicom eyes overseas growth

Chinese operator's global plans include developing machine-to-machine services for automotive industry and growing overseas operator network for better data roaming services, report notes.
Written by Liau Yun Qing, Contributor on

China Unicom is looking beyond its home market for expansion and is already in talks with global players over machine-to-machine (M2M), global roaming, and investing in global cable projects.

In a Global Telecoms Business report on Monday, China Unicom's vice chairman and president Lu Yimin said one of the ways it is looking to grow its presence overseas is through developing M2M applications for the automotive industry.

Car makers, operators, and system integrators are forming partnerships to achieve global mobile coverage using a single SIM card. The networks on which China Unicom's connections run on--WCDMA and HSPA--are available globally, so its SIM card can also work on other networks worldwide, it noted. Lu did not share which car companies it is working with though.

Besides M2M services, China Unicom is eyeing the title of being "number one in roaming coverage in the world". The company hopes to achieve this through partnerships with other operators and will work with everybody, said the president.

China Unicom has also been investing in cable networks. Besides cross-Atlantic networks, it also has cable from Egypt to east Africa. The company is also one of the investors of the Asia-Pacific Gateway which Facebook has invested in.

The company is involved in a project to connect BRIC countries--Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa--using submarine cable too, it added.

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