China’s third largest wireless provider has initiated a $234.5 million iPhone 5 promotion called the “Dragon Plan.” China Telecom is already training employees and setting up in-store advertising. One store has even set up a large LCD panel promoting the unreleased iPhone 5.

More interestingly, the carrier has already announced that it will begin selling the device in October. This report follows the comment of France Telecom CEO Stéphane Richard yesterday saying that the next gen iPhone would be available to customers on October 15…

CapitalVue reports:

“China Telecom has instructed some of its provincial branches to begin preparations for the sales of the iPhone 5, including conducting staff training, and the operator will accept orders for the phone at the earliest at end September, reports Southern Metropolis Daily, citing a company insider.

According to the report, a LED screen at the Changan Road branch of China Telecom had started advertising the forthcoming debut of the iPhone 5.”

China Telecom has surpassed Verizon Wireless in size, and the carrier is expected to sell over one million next gen iPhone units by year’s end.

If preorders do begin in September following availability in October, this report matches up with all of the rumors that lay out the same roadmap. China Unicom is the only current iPhone partner in the country, but rumors suggest that Apple is ready to close deals with China Mobile and China Telecom for the iPhone 5 launch. China Telecom is the world’s largest CDMA carrier, boasting 108 million subscribers.

Apple has reportedly pushed supplier Foxconn to produce 150,000 iPhone 5 units per day in anticipation of high consumer demand in the latter half of 2011.

[The Next Web]