Reg­u­la­tor cracks whip on tele­com ser­vice providers

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE -

by Oc­to­ber and will re­sult in lower, roughly about onethird, mo­bile traf­fic fees na­tion­wide.

Zhang said the car­ri­ers will in­tro­duce 2-gi­ga­byte per month 4G traf­fic pack­ages be­tween 50 yuan ($8) and 60 yuan. The in­ter­na­tional roam­ing fees have al­ready dropped by more than 80 per­cent on av­er­age sinceMay.

The new bud­get is very af­ford­able and can meet most of the de­mand. Lower roam­ing fees will also greatly ben­e­fitChi­nese tourists, ac­cord­ing to Zhang.

“We are ask­ing car­ri­ers to launch af­ford­able traf­fic pack­ages that suit all types of users. It is the pri­mary goal of the ini­tia­tive,” he said.

The min­istry is also look­ing to cut the prices of ca­ble con­nec­tions by 20-30 per­cent from the av­er­age price in­May.

The “Big Three” — China Mo­bile Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Corp, China United Net­work Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Ltd and China Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions Corp — did not dis­close in­di­vid­ual moves onWed­nes­day.

How­ever, they re­it­er­ated their com­mit­ment to fol­low the min­istry’s di­rec­tive and cut ser­vice charges be­fore the end of this year.

China’s In­ter­net con­nec­tion be­came a tar­get of public crit­i­cism start­ing in­May af­ter Premier Li Ke­qiang said the ser­vice is “too ex­pen­sive” and the speed is “too slow”.

Li has re­peated the re­quest of low­er­ing prices and lift­ing speed on sev­eral oc­ca­sions over the past few­months.

The top three car­ri­ers scram­bled to an­swer Li’s call, in­tro­duc­ing cheaper deals. But the moves did not go down well with the gen­eral public as they felt that the pro­mo­tions of­fered by car­ri­ers were valid only very late in the nightwhen­most users are not likely to surf theWeb.

Cheng Li, a user of China Mo­bile’s 4G ser­vice, said she hopes the traf­fic fees could be lower.

“I need about 1 gi­ga­byte of traf­fic each month, but the deal I am us­ing only cov­ers 500 megabytes. I have to spend another 30 yuan for the other 500 megabytes, and that is a lit­tle too ex­pen­sive for me,” said the 28-year-old sales man­ager who lives in Bei­jing.

Cao Shumin, pres­i­dent of the China Academy of In­for­ma­tion and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, said the coun­try’s In­ter­net ser­vice still re­quires con­sid­er­able in­vest­ment to lift con­nec­tion speeds to the next level.

“The con­nec­tion speed in the cities is not that bad, when com­pared with other de­vel­op­ing economies. The prob­lem lies in the vast ru­ral ar­eas where the in­fra­struc­ture con­struc­tion is lag­ging be­hind,” Cao said.

China is build­ing the world’s largest 4G net­work, with the num­ber of 4G users ris­ing by 128 mil­lion in the first six months.

The size of its tele­com mar­ket ex­ceeded 1 tril­lion yuan in the first half, rep­re­sent­ing a 23.2 per­cent jump over last year.

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