Light Reading
The next 12 months look set to radically alter the mobile services landscape in China.

Year of the Horse: Can China Telecoms Break Into a Gallop?

Robert Clark
News Analysis
Robert Clark
3/10/2014
50%
50%

China's Lunar New Year, a traditional festival marked by feasting and fireworks, has now become an annual telecom benchmark.

As the Year of the Horse dawned last month, operators and analysts once again scrutinized the volume of New Year messages exchanged over the period. The total sent over this year's holiday period year fell 40% to 18.2 billion.

A survey by research firm iiMedia concluded that just 57% of China's 1.23 billion mobile subscribers used operator SMS over the period, down from 68% last year, while 19% used the local messaging platform WeChat, up from 11%.

The figures underline the rapid rise of WeChat, which has signed up more than 270 million users worldwide since launch three years ago, mostly in China, with assists from high telco charges and the government crackdown on microblogs.

The three operators have made half-hearted responses, partnering with WeChat (in the case of China Unicom), Netease (China Telecom), or coming up with their own (China Mobile), but none of these has gained traction.

Yet even as operators grapple with OTT, the China market faces more change than it has seen in years.

For one, 4G has arrived and this almost certainly means the return of China Mobile as the alpha-operator.

In the last five years China Mobile's tepid 3G offering, based on TD-SCDMA, has meant it has been losing market share. Today has 63% of the total customer base, but just 47% of the 3G customers.

So it has seized on the arrival of LTE TDD to embark on one of the largest and fastest rollouts ever. The network is already commercially available in 16 cities and by year-end the operator expects to have half a million basestations deployed in 340 cities.

Its two rivals were openly dismissive of TDD a year ago, but have climbed aboard now that the MIIT has made it clear it's the only game in town. The ministry handed out LTE TDD licenses to all three operators in December. It's an industry guessing game as to when it will distribute FDD licenses, but no-one believes it will be before the second half of this year.

Both China Telecom, which started selling 4G last month, and China Unicom, which is set to launch on March 18, are building hybrid networks, with TDD primarily deployed for capacity in urban areas.

The other TDD pay-off for China Mobile is it has finally been able to strike a deal with Apple. (See China Mobile Gets the iPhone.)

Although 40% of Chinese mobile users already have a smartphone, Apple still appears to have plenty of upside. It improved its market share by a point to 7% in Q4, ranking just behind Samsung, and according to one survey is the most desired smartphone brand.

But this is also the year in which the first MVNOs are expected to hang out their shingle. They are unlikely to win significant market share in 2014, or ever, but the specter of these new competitors will likely force the MNOs to cut prices.

Each operator is required to partner with at least two MVNO players, and the first trials will start in the second quarter.

While the market rules are still vague, and the wholesale price appears to be absurdly high, many of the incoming MVNO players have strengths of their own. Some are online retailers with millions of registered customers, and others are well-supported Internet companies such as Alibaba-owned HiShare.

This mild liberalization, open to Chinese companies only, comes at a time when the government is promising to curb the role of the state in the economy. If true, the arrival of the virtual operators may foreshadow wider participation in of the sector by private players.

Robert Clark, contributing editor, special to Light Reading

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
penoy2014
50%
50%
penoy2014,
User Rank: Light Beer
3/13/2014 | 4:30:07 AM
jaw crusher
Jaw crusher is firstly researched and developed in 1858. Due to its simple structure, stable and reliable work and convenient operation and maintenance, it had been widely applied in mining, quarrying, stone crushing and road and bridge construction since then. Jaw crusher machine is mainly used for primarily crushing the raw materials, so that is also called primary jaw crusher or primary crushers. Jaw crusher is one of the most important crushing machines in the stone crushing production line. It can be not only used for crushing stone materials, pebble and coal and be called stone jaw crusher, but used for manufacturing cement aggregate.
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Custom TV
Advantech Accelerates 100G Traffic Handling

10|17|14   |   7:56   |   (0) comments


Paul Stevens from Advantech explains why handling 100GbE needs a whole new platform design approach and how Advantech is addressing the needs of equipment providers and carriers to give them the flexibility and performance they will need for SDN and NFV deployment.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Holland's Imtech Traffic & Infra Discusses Huawei's ICT Solution and Services

10|16|14   |   4:49   |   (0) comments


Dimitry Theebe is from the business unit at Imtech Traffic & Infra which delivers communications solutions for transportations. His partnershp with Huawei began about a years ago. In this video, Theebe speaks more about this partnership and what he hopes to accomplish with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Comprehensive Storage Solutions Vital for SVR

10|16|14   |   6:16   |   (0) comments


SVR Information Technology provides cloud services for academic and special sectors. With Huawei's support, SVR and Yildiz Technical University has established Turkey's largest and most advanced High Performance Computing system. CSO Ismail Cem Aslan talks about what he hopes Huawei's OceanStor storage system will bring for him.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Mexico's Servitron's Impression of Huawei at CCW 2014

10|16|14   |   6:35   |   (0) comments


Servitron is a network operator in Mexico that has been in the trunking industry for the past 20 years. Its COO, Ing. Ragnar Trillo O., explains at Critical Communications World 2014 that his company has been interested in the long-term evolution of LTE technology and its adoption for TETRA.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Building a Better Dubai

10|16|14   |   2:06   |   (0) comments


Abdulla Ahmed Al Falasi is the director of commercial affairs, a telecommunications coordinator for the government of Dubai. Their areas of service span across multiple industries, including police, safety, shopping malls and more. In this video, Abdulla talks about his department's work with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Lights Up Malaysia Partner Maju Nusa

10|16|14   |   1:59   |   (0) comments


Malaysia's Maju Nusa is an enterprise partner to Huawei in networking, route switches and telco equipment. At this year's Critical Communications World in Singapore, CTO Pushpender Singh talks about what Huawei's eLTE solutions mean to his company and for Malaysia.
LRTV Custom TV
Evolving From HFC to FTTH Networks

10|15|14   |   2:19   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Todd McCrum delves into the future of cable's HFC plant, examining how DOCSIS 3.1 and advanced video compression will extend its life and how the IP video transition will usher in GPON and EPON over FTTH.
LRTV Custom TV
Exploring the Future of Cable Access

10|15|14   |   6:23   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Brett Wingo looks at where cable access architectures are heading, discussing the impact of DOCSIS 3.1, CCAP, Remote PHY, SDN, virtualization of cable networks and related technologies.
LRTV Custom TV
Optimizing & Monetizing WiFi

10|15|14   |   5:53   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Vince Pandolfi outlines the reasons for cable WiFi's rapid growth, lays out the issues with the technology and explains the new Cisco tools that can help operators monitor and improve their WiFi delivery.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Emulex & Huawei Collaboration Mutually Beneficial

10|14|14   |   4:17   |   (0) comments


US company Emulex collaborates with Huawei in areas such as blade servers and workload documentation. Mike Heumann of Emulex believes that Huawei has done incredibly well moving from a telecom company into servers and networks, working closely with customers to realize their needs.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Chile's VZION Looks Forward to Seeing More of Huawei

10|14|14   |   4:43   |   (0) comments


VZION is a systems integrator company in Chile with a focus on virtulization technology. In this video, Cesar Alcacibar talks about the challenges in virtualization and how Huawei helps his company to achieve the best results possible. Alcacibar is expecting more adoption and integration of Huawei technologies in Chile.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Pro-Datech & Huawei for a High-Tech Singapore

10|14|14   |   2:59   |   (0) comments


Pro-Datech Systems is a specialty IT solution provider based in Singapore. For an added value to its customers, the company uses Huawei's hardware and trusted performance and features for a total solution. It's looking forward to the creation of a lab, to be based in Singapore, for the two companies' coorporation on total storage solution.
Upcoming Live Events
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
Hot Topics
Forget the Internet, Brace for Skynet
Stephen Saunders, 10/15/2014
HBO Will Go OTT in 2015
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/15/2014
Google: Carriers & Cloud Providers Need to Cooperate
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 10/16/2014
CBS Takes OTT Plunge
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/16/2014
Could Data Be the New 'Currency'?
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 10/16/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed