Telecom service provider China Mobile announced new data packages for 4G services. The mobile operator added new tariffs, ahead of the official launch of Apple iPhone.
The cheapest monthly package starts from 40 yuan ($6.62) for 400 megabytes, and the highest costs 280 yuan for a 10-gigabyte package.
All seven data packages can be shared among various devices. The new package will be effective from 1 February, said China Mobile in a statement.
China Mobile, the world’s biggest mobile carrier, will charge users 0.29 yuan for every extra megabyte beyond those in the packages. The 0.29 yuan is the same as the 3G price of rival China Unicom.
China Mobile’s Shanghai branch, which has attracted more than 10,000 4G LTE users, will adopt the standard prices next month.
China Mobile eyes sales of 190-220 million 3G and new 4G phones in 2014, including 100 million 4G handsets, said China Mobile chairman Xi Guohua recently.
Meanwhile, China Mobile and Apple will launch iPhones on its 4G TD-LTE technology on Friday, 17 January.
Earlier, Forrester Research said China Mobile, which says it already has 45 million iPhone users, could gain 17 million new activations. The deal between China Mobile and Apple could generate at least $3 billion in revenue for Apple in 2014.
As per latest media reports, Foxconn, OEM contractor for Apple iPhones, shipped 1.4 million iPhone 5s devices to China Mobile last week. This statistics indicates demand for Apple iPhones on China Mobile’s 4G network. China Mobile has 760 million customers.
China Mobile began taking pre-orders for iPhones on December 25. Its smaller rivals, China Telecom and China Unicom, have had access to the iPhone for years.
Earlier, telecom analysts have predicted that the China Mobile deal will help Apple sell an additional 10 to 30 million iPhones in 2014.
However, a recent report from Wedge Partners said initial indications were that iPhone demand at China Mobile is more tepid than anticipated. This may be because China Mobile is months behind its rivals in terms of a 5s launch. It may be because there so are many choices for consumers including smartphones from Huawei, ZTE, Lenovo and Samsung.