China Mobile has slashed the mobile Internet traffic fee by up to 70 percent in many areas, including Shanghai and Beijing, since Thursday.
The latest move will attract more of the more than 600 million Chinese handset users to access the Internet, and boost the demand of smartphones and lift sales of mobile service providers, industry insiders said.
Under the new general packet radio service, or GPRS, policy in Shanghai,China Mobile »”>China Mobile now charges users 5 yuan (73 US cents) for 30 megabytes of data traffic monthly, an increase of 10MB last year. The package also includes 20 yuan for 150MB and 200 yuan for 5 gigabyte. The additional data traffic, excluding the package, costs 0.01 yuan for each kilobyte now, against 0.03 yuan previously. On average, China Mobile charges users 0.16 yuan for each megabyte of data traffic on the cellular network from Thursday, compared with 0.50 yuan previously.
Analysts see China Mobile’s price cut as a fight back to the expansion of China Telecom, which acquired the mobile business through the recent industry reorganization. China Telecom launched its new mobile brand eSurfing two weeks ago, which integrates fixed-line and Wi-Fi features.
China Mobile’s new data traffic policy has taken effect in Shanghai, Beijing and Tianjin as well as Jiangsu and Hubei provinces.
“The lower data traffic and the coming 3G will enrich the wireless functions and make some applications affordable, like mobile TV,” said Deng Yuqiang, chief executive of 3G.cn. It is one of the country’s biggest wireless service providers of news, ring tones and videos, and has 40 million handset users.
On Wednesday, the State Council, or China’s Cabinet, approved the issuance of licenses for third-generation mobile phone services or 3G. The government approved 3G technologies based on the CDMA 2000 (code division multiple access), WCDMA (wideband CDMA) and the home-grown standard TD-SCDMA (time division-synchronized CDMA). The 3G allows users to enjoy high-speed data transfer and supports new services like video call and film download onto cell phones.