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China Telecom raises broadband speeds, lowers costs

November 9, 2015

The Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has announced that state-owned telecom companies have reduced the prices of both fixed broadband and mobile data in the country, the Yibada website reports.

According to a spokesman from the regulator, Zhang Feng, the news comes following months of negotiations with the companies to make access to the internet more effective and, crucially, more affordable.

Feng explained that rates for 50 and 100 megabytes bandwidths were reduced by a respective 30% and 20%, while speed has also been raised for the remaining bandwidths, "without raising price."

For mobile internet, "three operators have released various combo packages ranging from 49 to 60 yuan per month," he added. "By using combo packages, users can enjoy 2 gigabytes of Interent data each month."

The State Council published a document earlier this year demanding that state-owned telecom operators increase their broadband speeds while lowering the rates that users have to pay.

Since Premier Ki Keqiang called for cheaper and faster broadband services, the three state-owned telecom operators have made efforts to reduce international data and roaming charges by an average of 80%. What's more, the carriers have announced further plans to increase mobile data speeds and cut mobile data prices.

The country's biggest wireless carrier, China Mobile, has pledged to reduce mobile data prices by at least 35% by the end of this year, while China Unicom has said it will lower prices by at least 20%, and China Telecom 30%.

As part of its 13th Five-Year Plan for national social and economic development, China is likely to push more reforms in the telecoms sector, and within the next five years it is expected to open the market to private investors.

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