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China Mobile Considers Purchasing Belgium 4G License

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Jan. 26 (Bloomberg) -- China Mobile Ltd., the world’s biggest phone carrier by market value, is considering buying a 4G fast-data wireless license in Belgium, Chairman Wang Jianzhou said today.

“Belgium asked whether we would be interested in buying their 4G license,” Wang said in an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “That’s a big difference in Davos this year -- many governments and companies talk to us about possible investments instead of asking why on earth we managed to get 600 million customers.”

China Mobile, which is focusing on developing TD-LTE, a fourth-generation wireless technology developed in China, will seek to expand globally in the next 10 years in order to compete with companies such as Deutsche Telekom AG and TeliaSonera AB, according to Wang.

“We will aim to expand in emerging markets first, but any projects that would help our development of TD-LTE technology will definitely be considered,” Wang said. At the moment, China Mobile is far away from being a leading world player due to its lack of innovation and internationalization, he said.

The Chinese government is testing 4G networks in six cities and will probably decide by the end of this year when to start commercial 4G licensing, according to Wang.

“Chinese companies are actually leading the world with this technology after lagging behind for so many years,” said Wang. “We are excited about the future outlook.”

Wang also met with Facebook Inc. founder Mark Zuckerberg last month to discuss “the possibility of cooperation” in China, he said, without providing details.

To contact Bloomberg News Staff on this story: Zijing Wu in Davos at zwu17@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Young-Sam Cho at ycho2@bloomberg.net.