China Telecom is to launch a virtual mobile network aimed at Chinese speakers in the UK and Chinese visitors to the country.
Working off the Everything Everywhere (Orange and T-Mobile) network, the new operator will launch in the next few months and be aimed at the 400,000 Chinese speakers and Chinese businesses in the UK.
China Telecom will become one of a selection of MVNO (mobile virtual network operators) aimed at immigrant populations such as Lebara or Lycamobile – although it is the first that is solely aimed at one country.
The opening of the MVNO is part of China Telecom Europe’s expansion plans which include laying new infrastructure to provide better links back to the Chinese mainland. These new links include an overland link through Russia and Scandinavia as well as an undersea cable running through the Suez canal.
We’re yet to hear of any details regarding tariffs or availability, although we would expect the network to be focused on selling cheap calls to China rather than trying to compete with domestic rivals.