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China to give nationwide 4G coverage by 2018

December 21, 2015

China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has unveiled their plans to have nationwide 4G network coverage by 2018, a recent article on Shanghaiist reports.

The plan is part of a larger three-year project MIIT have called "Internet Plus". Under this scheme they hope to upgrade existing infrastructure at the same time as expanding to rural and remote areas by installing fiber optic cables.

The project was unveiled by the ministry in July with the aim of "completing a broadband-based, integrated, ubiquitous and secure next-generation national information infrastructure."

Modern manufacturing will bring together mobile Internet, the Internet of Things, big data and cloud computing to encourage the expansion of industrial networks, e-commerce and online banking.

The hope is that this will create the platform for Internet companies to augment their international presence.

The focus on mobile Internet comes as result of estimates that China Mobile Communications Corp, the world's largest telecommunications carried by subscribers, will reach 500m users by the end of 2016.

In August last year, China had 946m mobile web users. That figure increased with an additional 10m users every month. This has been a significant growth from the 591m mobile Internet users China had in 2013.

During this time, 270m of China's mobile Internet users were already using 4G, Tech in Asia reported.

It is believed that if the number of mobile web users in China continues at this current trajectory, the country will reach 1bn users before the end of the year.

The ministry will also be using "Internet Plus" to dedicate time to researching and developing 5G technologies.

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