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2013 China - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts

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Last updated: 26 Aug 2013 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 81

Analyst: Peter Evans

Publication Overview

The China market still has low penetration rates and this is an excellent indicator for future growth. The report covers trends and developments in telecommunications, mobile, internet, broadband, digital TV and IPTV developments. Subjects include:

  • Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
  • Facts, figures and statistics;
  • Industry and regulatory issues;
  • Infrastructure;
  • Major players, revenues, net profit, EBITDA, subscribers, ARPU;
  • Internet, VoIP, IPTV;
  • Mobile voice and data markets;
  • Broadband (FttH, DSL, cable TV, mobile);
  • Smart cities;
  • Cloud computing;
  • Smart grids;
  • Forecasts for internet users, fixed-line, mobile, 3G, broadband subscribers to 2018.

Researcher:- Peter Evans
Current publication date:- August 2013 (19th Edition

Executive Summary

Accelerated investment in FttX as 3G impacts traffic growth

The government vowed, in the 12th Five-Year Plan, to continue reforming the economy and emphasised the need to increase domestic consumption in order to make the economy less dependent on exports for GDP growth. According to the International Monetary Fund, China’s share of worldwide GDP is to grow from under 2% in 1991 to 11% in 2014. This highlights the massive change underway in China. Telecommunications is an important vehicle to drive through this shift in economic prosperity.

The market experienced a settling in period after the government initiated industry restructure in 2008. China Mobile is still the dominant player but the 3G space sees a more equitable distribution of market share. The mobile sector is still expanding at over 10% per annum and 3G services are starting to gain momentum supported by a more mature value chain. Confronted with a continuous decline in the fixed-line market, the government has again intervened to set aggressive targets for broadband services. China became the leading country in the number of Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) users in 2003 and by 2010 was the leading country in terms of FttX deployment.

There is rapid development of internet businesses in China as the digital economy takes shape. The pace of development has escalated as more and more of the population gain access to the internet. Chinese based online enterprises can target consumers like no western company has been able to do and numerous successful IPOs on the NYSE are testament to this. Internet users have exceeded the 550 million mark, increasingly accessing web sites via mobile phones.

China continues to build a substantial world-class telecommunications infrastructure and the investments show no sign of abating. As data traffic grows, the major operators are keeping pace by increasing both domestic and international connectivity through submarine and terrestrial cable links. The country also has high aspirations with its space program and has developed a local industry to develop, build and deploy communications satellites.

China is at the forefront of technology development, strongly supported by all levels of government. Amongst these initiatives are Cloud Computing and Smart Grid deployments and the building of Smart Cities that support the government’s climate change targets set out in the Twelfth Five Year Plan.

Market highlights:

  • China had close to 1,500 million phone users by mid-2013, including mobile phones, fixed-line phones and PHS handsets. Mobile subscribers comprised over 80% of the total.
  • Non-voice revenue comprised over 50% of total industry revenue and value added services comprised over 25% of total industry revenue.
  • Broadband investments increased particularly with FttX infrastructure, driven by government initiatives.
  • IPTV growth was impacted by the government announcement of three-network integration trials of the country’s telecom, broadcast television and internet networks, and showed signs of acceleration into 2013.
  • Large scale LTE trials continued even though 3G deployments still only account for 25% of all mobile subscriptions after four years. The government appears committed to only approve 4G commercial operations in 2014.

For those needing high level strategic analysis and objective analysis on China, this report is essential reading and gives further information on:

  • Aims by the government to broadcast all TV programs in digital format by 2010 and complete cable TV digitisation by 2015.
  • State Grid Corporation’s goal of building out a Smart Grid by 2020 as part of the country’s US$100 billion investments in Smart Grids.
  • China’s Twelfth 5 year plan targeting seven priority industries with the aim of increasing their GDP contributions from 2% of GDP to 8% by 2016 and supported by a budget allocation of RMB 10 trillion (US$1.52 trillion) over the five year period.
  • A noticeable shift to instant messaging, blogging and microblogging and increased use of the internet for currency transactions.

Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year  

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Paul, May I congratulate you on a very successful and enjoyable afternoon with the Minister. In providing the roundtable discussions between government and industry, it highlighted the strong interest by stakeholders in Broadband and its implementation but it also presented us with other issues and opportunities that we need to address.

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