China Telecom to expand 4G coverage, Nokia bags the deal

China Telecom investment
Mobile networking major Nokia today announced its deal with China Telecom to deploy 4G technology in 19 provinces in the country.

China Telecom, which recently slashed its investment in telecom networks in 2016, aims to enhance coverage and capacity as well as the quality of mobile experience for subscribers. China Telecom is also planning to introduce 5G technology.

Investment in the radio access network will enable China Telecom to meet subscriber demand. 4G coverage and faster access to the Internet and online content will improve customer experience of China Telecom’s subscribers.

China Telecom is also aiming to launch voice over LTE (VoLTE) services in 2017.

China Telecom has a Capex (capital expenditure) of CNY97 billion for 2016 against CNY109 billion last year. China Telecom has added 330,000 eNBs last year, going about 50k above the initial plan. China Telecom has a current LTE footprint of 510,000 eNBs. It also plans on a further addition of 290,000 eNBs this year to reach the 800,000 eNBs.

In-spite of the cut in Capex, China Telecom’s Capex will continue to be high for upcoming one or two years, owing to the 4G network rollout and accelerated fibre upgrade, conveyed the research group, Fitch Ratings.

China Telecom had nearly 207 million (+31 million) mobile subscribers, with 90 million users on 4G network in June 2016.

Last year, China Telecom’s 4G traffic increased by more than six times, and it is predicted to account for more than 90 percent of mobile data traffic on the network by 2017.

Nokia is deploying its 4G technology in 19 provinces in China: Shanghai, Jiangsu, Shandong, Zhejiang, Hunan, Hubei, Guangxi, Fujian, Jiangxi, Shaanxi, Heilongjiang, Hebei, Henan, Sichuan, Anhui, Liaoning, Guizhou, Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia.

“Our knowledge of the Chinese market will enable China Telecom to meet the demands of an ever-growing and dynamic 4G subscriber base,” said Mike Wang, head of Nokia Networks China.