China Mo­bile eyes 1.75b con­nec­tions by 2020

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS - By MA SI in Guangzhou masi@chi­

China Mo­bile Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Corp, the world’s largest tele­com car­rier by sub­scribers, aims to en­able 1.75 bil­lion con­nec­tions by 2020, as it is work­ing hard to put home ap­pli­ances, ve­hi­cles and other items on­line.

Shang Bing, chair­man of China Mo­bile, said on Tues­day China will have at least 10 bil­lion in­ter­net-en­abled con­nec­tions by 2020, ac­count­ing for one-fifth of global con­nec­tions.

“We will step up ef­forts to ex­pand our pres­ence in the con­nected car sec­tor, as part of our ef­forts to dou­ble the num­ber of con­nec­tions we had in 2015,” he made the com­ments at the firm’s global part­ners con­fer­ence in Guangzhou.

Last year, among 880 mil­lion de­vices China Mo­bile had con­nected on­line, 770 mil­lion units of these were smart­phones, which are reach­ing a ceil­ing point. In­ter­net-con­nected au­to­mo­biles will be­come one of the next key de­vices for de­vel­op­ment, the com­pany said.

The move comes as China Mo­bile is ramp­ing up re­sources to de­velop 5G net­works, af­ter it built the world’s largest 4G net­work within three years. It plans to put 5G into trial op­er­a­tion in 2018 be­fore com­mer­cial­iz­ing next-gen­er­a­tion com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nol­ogy in 2020.

“We will not only build con­nec­tions but also open our plat­forms to other firms so that we can have an ecosys- tem,” Shang added.

On Tues­day, the firm re­leased tech­ni­cal spec­i­fi­ca­tions of its in­ter­net of things plat­form where any­one with an IoT idea can build up his or her prod­uct and test whether it is fea­si­ble.

Xiang Li­gang, a Bei­jing­based ex­pert and founder of in­dus­try web­site cc­, said 5G will no longer be a sim­ple tech­nol­ogy or a sys­tem. In­stead, it is a plat­form in which the tele­com in­dus­try needs to be deeply linked with other sec­tors.

“5G will be a test for China Mo­bile to see whether it can ef­fi­ciently co­op­er­ate with a large num­ber of firms,” he said.

China Mo­bile’s in­ten­si­fied ef­forts to tap into the in­ter­net of things op­por­tu­nity also came af­ter its once-lu­cra­tive voice calls and text busi­ness were af­fected by in­ter­net­based mes­sag­ing ser­vices.

It is seek­ing new rev­enue sources.

Chi­nese e-com­merce giant Alibaba Group Hold­ing Ltd is likely to work closely with China Mo­bile Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Corp on data shar­ing, mo­bile pay­ment and ru­ral busi­ness, a se­nior ex­ec­u­tive from Alibaba said on Tues­day.

Hu Xiaom­ing, pres­i­dent of Alibaba Cloud, the firm’s cloud com­put­ing unit, said the part­ner­ship be­tween the two firms “is no longer a tie be­tween an in­ter­net firm and a tele­com car­rier. In­stead, it is a thriv­ing re­la­tion­ship be­tween two ecosys­tems”.

Hu made the com­ments at the China Mo­bile Global Part­ners Con­fer­ence in Guangzhou. The two com­pa­nies inked a deal ear­lier this month, promis­ing close co­op­er­a­tion in ba­sic telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion ser­vices, in­for-

Fu Liang, a tele­com an­a­lyst, said China Mo­bile’s huge 4G pres­ence and its cut­ting-edge 5G re­search will give the com­pany an edge in cap­i­tal­iz­ing on IoT.

As of the end of Novem­ber, it has 1.46 mil­lion 4G base sta­tions across the coun­try and its 4G sub­scribers hit 510 mil­lion. One of ev­ery three 4G users in the world is us­ing ser­vices from China Mo­bile, ac­cord­ing to the car­rier.

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