Starting from December 18, China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile carrier by number of user, is set to offer its commercial 4G network, bringing the most advanced telecommunications technology to China which currently have more than 1 billion mobile users.
The 4G services with a new brand “He”, meaning harmonious in the Chinese language will be started by China Mobile on that date, which will cover Beijing, Guangzhou, and Chongqing. Shanghai, which is still building a citywide 4G network, will launch the services later.
Even though China is the world’s biggest mobile phone market with more than 1 billion users on its mainland, it still lacks the 4G technology that is used in some other countries and regions such as the United States, South Korea, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong.
China Mobile Ltd is investing billions of dollars to upgrade its infrastructure so clients can enjoy speedier Internet and data access once the government awards 4G telecom licences before the end of the year.
China Mobile has been slower than its two rivals China Unicom and China Telecom to build up more profitable 3G subscriptions. By investing heavily in 4G, China Mobile has forced China Unicom and China Telecom to keep pace despite the companies still having room to grow their 3G user bases.
However, the heavy spending could take years to pay off as Chinese consumers are unlikely to pay large amounts extra for 4G and faster Internet allows data-based services like social messaging apps to eat into revenues from SMS and voice calls.
Photo Credit: Karlis Dambrans