Feeds

China throws 3G net over disputed island chain

Where there's coverage so follows ownership

The Power of One Infographic

The Spratly Islands now have 3G coverage, connecting the uninhabited rocks and reefs to China's telecommunications network, much to the annoyance of Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia and the Philippines.

The 750 specks of land which make up the Islands do host some soldiers, and fishing vessels will no doubt appreciate the coverage, but mostly this is about territorial claims (and oil, of course) and upstaging the Vietnamese - who've had 2G coverage across parts of the region since 2005.

China has had some 2G coverage too, but the deployment of 3G has sparked further protests from the office of the Vietnamese Prime Minister (with thanks to Tech In Asia for the translation and context) who points out, repeatedly, that Chinese fisherman working locally are breaking the law and Chinese soldiers have no right to be there, let alone calling home.

The islands are tiny, and inhospitable enough to have been claimed by both Vietnam and China for decades without either of them noticing, but that was before the value of the surrounding seas - in fish, but also oil and gas - become the critical factor in driving claims of ownership.

Chinese naval vessels have fired on Vietnamese fishing boats a few times, notably in May 2011 when ships apparently accompanying a Chinese fishing fleet drove off the Vietnamese fisherman, sparking protests across Vietnam and internationally.

China is embroiled in numerous territorial disputes, and mobile coverage is just a small playing piece in the game of international diplomacy, but at least Chinese troops stationed around Spratly can get decent date rates - unlike our lads in the Falklands, who are stuck on 2G at best. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.