IT push aims to boost domestic demand
Updated: 2013-07-13 01:12
By SHEN JINGTING (China Daily)
Work on 4G licenses and broadband
Internet access to be speeded up
China is to promote consumption of IT-related products and services as it seeks to spur domestic demand and push economic upgrading.
It will speed up work to issue licenses for the fourth generation (4G) mobile network this year and accelerate development of broadband Internet access, according to a statement released after an executive meeting of the State Council presided over by Premier Li Keqiang.
The nation is aiming for annual average growth of 20 percent in the information consumption industry from 2013 to 2015, the statement said.
The meeting demanded implementation of the “Broadband China” strategy, stepped-up efforts to construct and upgrade network infrastructure, pushing forward the FTTH (Fiber To the Home) project and improving Internet speed.
China, which has the largest number of mobile phones in the world at 1.2 billion, is already building 4G trial networks in major cities.
China Mobile, its largest telecom carrier, is promoting the homegrown Time-Division Long-Term Evolution (TD-LTE) 4G standard and hopes to start commercial 4G rollout as soon as possible.
Xi Guohua, chairman of China Mobile, said in a June interview that the company has built more than 22,000 4G base stations in 15 Chinese cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, and plans to set up 200,000 base stations in 100 cities by the end of the year.
There is speculation over whether the other two Chinese carriers — China Unicom and China Telecom — will follow in deploying TD-LTE networks. Central government officials have openly supported the TD-LTE standard, but there are signs the two carriers are inclined to adopt another more mature 4G technology.
High-level management from the two companies have voiced their willingness to apply the Frequency Division Duplex-Long Term Evolution, or FDD-LTE, technology, or at least to build a converged network under both standards.
TD-LTE and FDD-LTE are the two major 4G international standards, but the latter has gained more popularity around the world and has stronger industry support.
Liu Lihua, vice-minister of industry and information technology, said last year that China aims to have more than 250 million broadband users by 2015.
The central government is also encouraging private capital to enter the basic telecom service market, such as the voice and messaging business, by setting up joint ventures with State-owned players.
Projects to merge telecommunications, television and Internet services will also move forward on a nationwide basis this year, according to Friday's meeting.
The meeting also called for quicker development on energy saving, with the goal of ensuring the market share for efficient energy-saving products reaches 50 percent by 2015.