Cut­ting charges is just what star­tups need to get go­ing

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS - By MA SI and ZHUANG QIANGE zhuang qiange@ chi­

China’s ma­jor tele­com car­ri­ers are cut­ting charges in a move to help in­di­vid­ual cus­tomers and star­tups ben­e­fit from su­per-fast in­ter­net ac­cess.

The big three of China Mo­bile Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Corp, China United Net­work Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Group Co Ltd and China Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions Corp are pro­mot­ing com­pet­i­tive pack­ages for broad­band in­ter­net, mo­bile data traf­fic and roam­ing ser­vices.

“Be­cause of the re­duc­tion of the net­work fee, we are fac­ing less pres­sure in launch­ing our startup project,” said Michale Wang, an ad­min­is­tra­tive di­rec­tor of an undis­closed startup com­pany in Shang­hai.

“At this stage, ev­ery coin counts and China Mo­bile helps us save money,” he added. “Also, the in­ter­net speed is very fast.”

The tele­com giant spent more than 572 bil­lion yuan ($84.4 bil­lion) on net­work con­struc­tion from 2015 to 2017, in­creas­ing ca­pac­ity and speed lev­els.

Dur­ing the past two years, broad­band costs for cus­tomers have dropped to 32.7 yuan per month from 52 yuan.

China Mo­bile is not alone in wheel­ing out im­proved ser­vices.

Ri­val China Tele­com has up­graded its ru­ral net­works, and el­derly vil­lagers in Da­tian, Hu­nan Province can now book doc­tor’s ap­point­ments and ar­range pay­ments on­line through their so­cial se­cu­rity cards.

“They can use their so­cial se­cu­rity cards at home in­stead of go­ing miles into town to deal with pay­ments or see doc­tors,” said Wu Dabing, sec­re­tary of Da­tian vil­lage.

“The in­ter­net is mak­ing their lives more con­ve­nient than be­fore,” Wu added.

Sup­ported by gov­ern­ment poli­cies to pro­mote inclusive tele­com ser­vices, the in­dus­try has in­creased broad­band and in­ter­net pack­ages this year.

A re­port re­leased by the Min­istry of In­dus­try and In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy showed that all of China’s ur­ban ar­eas now have fiber op­tic broad­band, a first for the coun­try.

In March, the big three play­ers promised to scrap do­mes­tic roam­ing charges in the fall.

It is com­mon prac­tice for Chi­nese tele­com com­pa­nies to col­lect roam­ing fees when a sub­scriber leaves their lo­cal ser­vice area.

Th­ese range from 0.6 yuan to 0.8 yuan per minute de­pend­ing on in­di­vid­ual mo­bile pack­ages.

“Re­duc­ing charges and boost­ing in­ter­net speed, as well as pro­mot­ing fiber (op­tic) -to-the-home (FTTH) are of great sig­nif­i­cance for China un­der the present cir­cum­stances,” said He Jia, an en­gi­neer at the China Academy of In­for­ma­tion and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Tech­nol­ogy.

“It will not only bring ac­tual prof­its to com­pa­nies and peo­ple by low­er­ing their costs, but also help them to bet­ter adapt to the com­pet­i­tive in­ter­na­tional mar­ket,” she added.

The in­ter­net is mak­ing their lives more con­ve­nient than be­fore.” Wu Dabing, sec­re­tary of Da­tian vil­lage

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