Chinese visit to gain wireless info

  • John Wolcott / Herald Business Journal Editor
  • Monday, January 7, 2002 9:00pm
  • Business

By John Wolcott

Herald Business Journal Editor

Eager for information about how to create a wireless telecommunications network for China’s 1.3 billion people, several Chinese telecom executives visited Everett Monday to hear about communications technology from Puget Sound-area businesses.

"We hope our meeting will begin a mutual opportunity for you to learn something about China and (to build) a foundation for future opportunities (for business in China)," Xiaowen Yu, vice general manager of Shengzhen Zhixiong Electronics Co. Ltd., told his hosts following the half-day meeting.

"For the new year we are expecting the sale of 660 million new (wireless) devices. How can you guys miss such a good opportunity?," Yu said through an interpreter, drawing laughter and nods from his audience.

The visitors spent Monday morning hearing from representatives of Advanced TelCom Group, Verizon Wireless, Voiante, MicroTether and Telecom Network Specialists during a meeting at the office of the Snohomish County Economic Development Council.

China’s growing wireless market, its obvious long-term potential and its recent admission to the World Trade Organization are all attractions for U.S. companies, just as U.S. technology is an attraction for the Chinese.

China will surpass the United States as the largest wireless market in the world in less than four years, telecommunications experts predict, forecasting that mobile phone subscribers in China will reach between 150 million and 250 million by 2005, compared to only 40 to 50 million in 1999.

Also, Internet use in China is doubling every six months and the country already boasts one of the world’s fastest high-bandwidth networks, opening the door to video-rich Web sites and Internet access from cell phones and other hand-held telecommunication devices.

That’s why much of the attention of the group was focused on a presentation by John Shay, president of MicroTether in Bellevue, a new company launching wireless communications networks based on Internet Protocol’s new Version 6, designed to expand access to the Internet globally.

"This is the next generation protocol for the Internet," Shay said. "Today, Stanford University has more Internet addresses than China, and Asia only has 9 percent of today’s domain names, compared to 74 percent for the United States."

Shay, who has already been building the new networks in China, sees the new protocol and wireless telecommunications as a major opportunity.

Red Goodwin of Advanced TelCom Group Inc. and Randy Walter of Verizon Wireless both presented their telecommunication companies’ services and products in the wireless world.

Lee Halvorson of Telecom Network Specialists, which has a Snohomish office dedicated to engineering and project management, presented information about the firm’s United States and Asian markets for installation of radio towers, antennas and related wireless network hardware.

Among the Chinese businessmen attending the Everett meeting were Dan Yuan, vice general manager, Guangdong Jiaye Communications &Service Co. Ltd.; Feng Chen, chairman of the board and general manager of Guangdong Silver Fengxing Telecommunications &Service Co. Ltd., and Jianzhong Wang, chairman of the board of Shanghai Landun Telecom Equipment Co. Ltd.

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