Telecom service provider China Mobile said its 4G subscriber base reached 40 million on October 3.
The world’s wireless carrier based on subscriber base has constructed more than 500,000 4G base stations, covering more than 300 cities.
China Mobile says its 4G users will reach 50 million in at least 340 cities by the end of the year.
According to China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), China’s online population reached 632 million in June, and mobile Internet users 527 million.
Wake up call for Airtel and Reliance Jio
This is a wakeup call for Indian telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and telecom operators such as Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio Infocomm, Aircel, etc. Also, state-run BSNL and MTNL should learn from the achievements of China Mobile.
For comparison, Bharti Airtel, India’s largest telecom operator, is yet to achieve 4G user base of 1 million in the country.
Malaysian telecom operator-owned Aircel, which recently started rolling out 4G, does not even share its LTE tariff plans on the official website.
Reliance Jio Infocomm says it would launch 4G in early 2015. The Mukesh Ambani-promoted 4G venture has signed telecom tower sharing deals in the recent past.
Mobile data pricing trends
ABI Research says countries that have a monthly data quota in the range of 8 to 10 GB have increased from 21 percent in Q1 2014 to 83 percent of the total in Q2 2014.
“This shift in monthly data quota provides an opportunity for mobile operators to actually revise their pricing strategy,” said Lian Jye Su, research associate at ABI Research.
This is reflected in an average increase of 11.31 percent in the monthly tariff in the top 20 markets. In Canada, all three major mobile operators increased their price by US$4.50, despite offering an identical data quota (limit) before the price hike.
How China Mobile building 4G
China Mobile earlier said that it has expanded its 4G LTE roaming service to more than 27 countries and regions including China’s Hong Kong and Taiwan, the United States, South Korea, Japan, and Italy.
China Mobile said that it will further lower its 4G telecom service charges as its LTE 4G technology grows more mature.
Earlier, China Mobile said its customers can access 4G services through a new 4G USIM card without changing their number or going through registration.
New packages include a low-cost option of 500M of 4G data for 58 yuan (about $9.30), 30 yuan less than the current minimum package.
In another package, 4G subscribers can enjoy 2 GB of LTE data for 70 yuan per month, double the volume of the previous deals.
The growth of China Mobile 4G subscriber base is significant for the entire LTE eco-system. In June this year, China Mobile added 5.8 million 4G users, bringing its total to 13 million.
Meanwhile, China Telecom and China Unicom are experimenting with mixed-mode networks in 16 cities.
The two operators have adopted both TD-LTE and FD-LTE, while China Mobile currently follows the TD-LTE standard, which it played a main role in developing. FDD is more widely used throughout the world.
In India, operators such as Vodafone, Idea Cellular, Uninor, Videocon and Bharti Airtel are currently considering FD-LTE for their limited 4G launch due to spectrum constraints.
4G brings security challenges to BYOD
IDC says shipments are expected to rise to 1.8 billion annually by 2018.
Recently, Martin Nuss, CTO of Vitesse Semiconductor, said: “BYOD is revolutionizing enterprise connectivity, with the real potential to enable a better-connected and more productive workforce. The rapid growth of the BYOD market, coupled with an explosion in 4G networks fed by small cell deployment, is creating an IT security threat that the global market needs to urgently address.”