Fifth of China's broadband users access speeds of 1 Gbit/s or aboveFifth of China's broadband users access speeds of 1 Gbit/s or above
Latest data reveal 22% of broadband customers in China have access to downlink speeds of at least 1 Gbit/s, as ITU says another 100 million people worldwide gained Internet access over the past year.
September 29, 2023
Latest data reveals 22% of broadband customers in China have access to downlink speeds of at least 1 Gbit/s, as ITU says another 100 million people worldwide gained Internet access over the past year.
China is crushing it in fixed-line broadband as well as mobile, latest government stats reveal. The country's three big operators reported 622 million fixed-line broadband users at the end of August, up 32.1 million from the start of the year, according to MIIT figures.
Of that number, 139 million, or 22%, are accessing downlink speeds of 1 Gbit/s and above, up 47 million for the year. All told, of the 587 million Chinese broadband users, 94% are on 100 Mbit/s and above.
As has been widely reported, besides these hefty broadband numbers, China has far and away the world's largest 5G user base, reaching 676 million as of June 30.
Its success in rolling out advanced infrastructure and racking up big subscriber adds is due to several factors. These include a supply-side driven approach, the ability of policy-makers to force down prices to drive take-up, and a huge digital marketplace led by firms such as Tencent and Bytedance.
This has not generated economic returns for the operators. China Telecom, for example, reported broadband average revenue per user (ARPU) of 48.2 Chinese yuan (US$6.60) and mobile ARPU of RMB46.2 ($6.33) in the first half.
But it's been a smashing success in narrowing the digital divide and putting into place some of the building blocks of a modern digital economy. Meanwhile the rest of the developing world has hit a tipping point where consumer demand is now driving digital take-up, the latest ITU State of Broadband report argues.
It states the number of the unconnected fell by 100 million to 2.6 billion over the past 12 months. “There has been a fundamental shift from supply-driven communications access to demand-driven communication,” it says.
The growth in access to connectivity was a knock-on effect of the digital transformation and the post-pandemic pivot, which had resulted in stronger demand for digital products and services, it said.
“We now need to focus on the usage gap to connect the almost 3 billion people who could be, but are not yet, online,” the report states. It also calls on policy makers to take stock of lessons learned during the pandemic over the positive economic impact of infrastructure.
“By recognizing the undergirding and cross-cutting enablement of communications for everything from health and education through to entertainment and transactions, the cost/return equation would be transformed,” it notes.
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