(Yicai Global) Nov. 24 -- China Mobile Ltd. [HK:0941], one of the country's three major telecom operators, has reported double-digit growth in its IoT business this year, and plans to build the world's largest narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT), a wide area network (WAN) supporting low-power devices, company president Li Yue said at the China Mobile Global Partners Conference 2017 held today in Guangzhou, capital of the southern province of Guangdong.
The firm will invest CNY2 billion (USD303.4 million) next year to boost the construction of IoT infrastructure and lower the threshold for all sectors to embrace IoT technology, he said.
China Mobile has built 3.23 million base stations so far, of which, 179 are 4G base stations, with 4G users accounting for 71 percent of users. The number of devices connected to IoT has reached 200 million, making it a key driver of the group's business growth, data released at the conference states.
China Mobile will complete a technical test this year on 5G networks, carry out a scaled test in 2018, enter pre-commercial stages in 2019, and officially step into 5G's commercial stage in 2020.
The group has already completed the first phase of 5G technical certification, and finished a number of research reports in multiple application fields such as unmanned aerial vehicles, intelligent shared bicycles, smart wearables and intelligent parking lots.