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Motorola, Ericsson step up 3G efforts in China

The wireless companies are boosting their data service offerings and promoting them among Chinese networks.

Wireless companies Motorola and Ericsson are looking to build up the Chinese market for third-generation services.

On Friday, Motorola announced that it is setting up a new application development center to promote wireless data services among Chinese networks. The company said it plans to help local telecommunications operators link up with application developers to offer quality control, engineering and logistics support as well as sales and marketing help.

Mobile phone companies worldwide are moving to set up data-oriented 3G networks to boost capacity, improve coverage areas, and offer services such as 2.4-megabit-per-second wireless broadband. The data-oriented services are also expected to help make up for plunging revenue from voice calls.

"Wireless data applications and contents are crucial elements that drive the adoption of 3G," Patrick Kung, corporate vice president at Motorola's PCS North Asia unit, said in a statement.

European and Asian operators have been offering data services for some time, while those from the United States are playing catch-up.

Separately on Friday, Ericsson announced that it has signed a $58 million contract with China Mobile's Jiangsu Mobile Communication that expands their partnership for GSM (Global System for Mobile communication) and GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) technologies. Jiangsu has 12 million customers.

Ericsson will provide Jiangsu with high-speed data communications and multimedia services geared toward smoothing the transition to 3G. It will also provide engineering, network support, network optimization, and technical and management training. The expansion project is expected to be completed by the end of the year.