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China to modify plan to open up mobile telecom sector

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BEIJING, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- The government is considering adjusting a plan that will allow privately-owned companies to enter the mobile telecommunications sector, a government official said on Wednesday.

Zhang Feng, director of the telecommunications development department of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), said at a news briefing that the ministry is reviewing opinions collected from the public and will improve the plan based on its review.

In early January, the MIIT created a pilot plan that will allow Chinese-funded private companies to buy basic mobile telecom services from the country's major operators, add their own services and then sell the services to customers through their own brands.

Private companies will not have to build mobile telecoms infrastructure, but only set up a customer service system and other supporting networks if necessary, the plan said.

The ministry said the pilot program aims to allow private capital to further enter the telecom industry and give full play to the flexibility and creativity of private firms, as well as promote market competition and improve mobile telecom services.

The plan was published online on Jan. 7, with public opinions to be solicited until Feb. 6.

At present, China's mobile telecom sector is dominated by the state-owned companies China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom.

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