The market for 4G handsets in China would hit a projected 90 million devices this year when major wireless companies push for strong marketing strategies to attract customers.
According to a report published Wednesday by IHS Technology, the large demand will be driven by China Mobile, although the Chinese operator has reportedly cut its 4G device sales target to 70 million devices this year from an earlier projection of 100 million devices.
The Chinese government awarded licenses for the country’s three major state-owned telecom-service providers last December to run 4G mobile networks operating under the Time-Division Long-Term Evolution, or TD-LTE, standard developed by China.
But only 4.8 million of China Mobile’s 784.6 million customers were using the new high-speed services as of the end of April, according to the carrier’s website.
Meanwhile, Strategy Analytics has reported that mobile phone sales will reach 430 million units and generate revenues of US$87 billion in China during 2014. In contrast, mobile phone sales will stabilize at 163 million units and deliver revenues of just US$60 billion in the United States this year. China will overtake the United States for the first time ever to become the world’s largest mobile phone market by value.
4G LTE connectivity first gained licensing in China in December last year, with the country’s three biggest mobile carriers all being awarded licenses to roll out the technology. However, by the beginning of May this year it became clear that a paltry 4.8 million mobile customers in China had adopted 4G LTE – a drop in the ocean considering the country’s 784.6 million mobile users.