China loosens VoIP rules
Not a lot, just a bit
Chinese regulators are treading carefully when it comes to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone calls. Two companies have been awarded the right to conduct limited trials of the technology, but full licences won't be given out until 2007.
China Telecom and China Netcomn have been granted permission to conduct testing, and other operators will be able to apply by 2007.
But just how "open" the market will be is not clear - officials from the Ministry of Information "expressed their doubtness". More details here.
Previously, China banned the use of VoIP and people found using the technology lost their internet connections as a result.
High telco charges and low wages mean very high take-up of VoIP has been predicted.