(Yicai Global) April 26 -- China's fixed-line broadband penetration rate will reach 63 percent by year-end thanks to increased internet speeds and reduced costs, said Wen Cu, director of China's ministry industry's Information and Communication Development Department.
China's three major telecoms providers, China Mobile Communications Corp., China United Network Communications Group Co. (China Unicom) and China Telecommunications Corp. (China Telecom), all state-owned, publicly announced plans to boost connection speeds and cut prices, Wen said at a press briefing today, adding that the firms will release detailed plans in the near future.
The moves will make high-speed broadband more popular across the country, he added, saying that by year-end, fixed-line broadband penetration will hit 63 percent and mobile broadband will reach 75 percent. More than 85 percent of home broadband users will opt for connections faster than 20 megabits a second, and more than 50 percent will have connections at 50 megabits a second or faster, Wen said.
The number of fixed-line broadband users grew steadily in the first quarter to 310 million, with almost 80 percent on fiber optic connections, he said. Nearly 83 percent of users have connections at 20 megabits a second or faster. According to preliminary data, the average peak connection speed has increased to 52 megabits a second, compared with 49 megabits a second at the end of last year.
The industry ministry and State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission will release action plans for this year, tackling 17 tasks to help increase investment in telecoms infrastructure, deepen the potential for broadband price cuts, encourage innovation of broadband applications and optimize increases in connection speeds.
In terms of infrastructure construction, the pair hope to further expand optical fiber network coverage, encourage firms to use 1-gigabit-a-second connections and offer speeds of over 100 megabits a second to urban areas while expanding the breadth of 4G network coverage.
China Mobile owns listed China Mobile Ltd. [HKG:0941], China Unicom owns China Union Network Communications Hong Kong Co. [HKG:0762] and China Telecom owns China Telecom Co. [HKG:0728].