The three major Chinese operators are allowing prepaid subscribers to carry their unused data allowances over into the next month.
China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom have stated that the tariff change is meant to “further implement the policy requirements of the government regarding network speed upgrade and tariff reduction”.
This response was likely prompted by complaints from the government in April that broadband networks in China were neither fast nor affordable enough, and the subsequent assertion from the country’s regulator that operators would need to improve speeds and lower costs.
All 3 major operators claimed in May that they would lower data rates by as much as 40%, and all of them are putting measures in place to meet the new regulatory demands.
China Unicom noted that it will “speed up the construction of its high-quality 4G network, enhance the penetration in the 4G smartphone market, and provide better data service to subscribers in order to minimise the impact of the policy.”
Meanwhile, China Telecom is attempting to drive up its overall sales volume by pushing down unit prices in an attempt to offset the new data policy – which all three operators have acknowledged will negatively affect their revenue and net income. China Mobile is taking the approach of encouraging data usage to make the most of its 4G footprint.