China calls on operators to lower data tariffs

China calls on operators to lower data charges

Chinese operators have again been ordered to reduce data rates for consumers by the country’s State Council, which has also called for them to lower fees on SMEs (small and medium enterprises).

Chaired by Premier Li Keqiang, the council has called for SME internet charges to be reduced by 15%, for consumer mobile data rates to drop by at least 20%, and for data roaming fees between mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau to be reduced by 30% by the end of 2019.

Additionally, Xinhua News Agency reported that operators have been instructed to push both fixed-line and mobile-compatible gigabit connections to over 300 cities across China. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology’s data shows that more than 100 Chinese cities are currently conducting gigabit internet trials.

Speaking on the broadband targets, Li stated: “We need to upgrade our internet services… Solid efforts must be made to make internet services faster and more affordable, and sharpen the country’s international competitiveness.”

In 2017, the State Council tasked operators with abolishing domestic data roaming fees by October the following year. As a result of this, China Unicom claimed that its Q1 service revenue fell by 5.2% to CNY39.4 billion.

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