2014 China - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts

Publication Overview

China’s telecom 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 (FttX, DSL, cable TV, mobile);
  • Smart cities;
  • Cloud computing and data centres;
  • Smart grids;
  • Scenario forecasts for internet users, fixed-line, mobile, 3G, broadband subscribers to 2018.

Researcher:- Peter Evans
Current publication date:- December 2014 (20th Edition)

Executive Summary

China Mobile leads the way as it claims around 50 million 4G subscribers by end-2014

The government vowed, in China’s 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015), 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 was 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.

Not surprisingly the telecom market experienced a settling in period after the government initiated a major industry restructure in 2008. China Mobile remains the dominant player but the 3G segment has seen a more equitable distribution of market share. The mobile sector was continuing to expand - at between 5% and 10% per annum – and, after a slow start, 3G services had gained momentum supported by a more mature value chain. Total mobile subscribers were close to 1.3 billion by the start of 2015, with almost 40% of these being 3G.

There had been a surprising surge in 4G/LTE services as China Mobile rapidly expanded its TD-LTE network and busily signed up subscribers. It claimed more than 50 million subscribers on its TD-LTE service by late 2014. The operator was making the most of its early lead on rivals China Unicom and China Telecom, both of which had been far more conservative in their deployment of TD-LTE networks, relying instead on Frequency Division (FD)-LTE technology – full licences for which had yet to be allocated – over the home-grown TD standard favoured by China Mobile and, importantly, the MIIT.

Confronted with a continuous decline in the fixed-line market, the government has again intervened to set aggressive targets for broadband services. Globally, 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. In the meantime, there has been a 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. The number of internet users had passed the 650 million mark by mid-2014, increasingly accessing websites 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.

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

Table of Contents

  • 1. Key Statistics
    • 1.1 Country Overview
      • 1.1.1 Background
      • 1.1.2 China’s economy
  • 2. Telecommunications Market
    • 2.1 Background of China’s telecom market
      • 2.1.1 Background of China’s telecom market – 1980s and 1990s
      • 2.1.2 Background of China’s telecom market – 2000-2007
      • 2.1.3 China’s telecom market restructure in 2008
      • 2.1.4 Trade dispute – 2013/2014
    • 2.2 Overview of China’s telecom market – 2008-2012
      • 2.2.1 Revenue breakdown: 2011 - 2012
    • 2.3 Telecommunications market sectors
      • 2.3.1 Fixed lines and mobiles
      • 2.3.2 Internet and broadband
  • 3. Regulatory Environment
    • 3.1 Overview
    • 3.2 Eleventh Five-Year Plan (2006-2010)
    • 3.3 Twelfth Five-Year Plan (2011-2015)
    • 3.4 E-government
      • 3.4.1 Government e-commerce projects
    • 3.5 Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT)
      • 3.5.1 Ministry of Information Industry (MII)
      • 3.5.2 MII Expansion
      • 3.5.3 Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT)
    • 3.6 China Internet Network Information Centre
    • 3.7 Regulatory developments: 2013 - 2014
      • 3.7.1 MVNO licences
      • 3.7.2 Corruption
      • 3.7.3 MiiT to draw foreign investment
  • 4. Major Operators
    • 4.1 China Mobile Ltd (CML)
      • 4.1.1 Company overview
      • 4.1.2 China Mobile: Financial statistics
      • 4.1.3 China Mobile: Operations statistics
    • 4.2 China Telecom
      • 4.2.1 Company overview
      • 4.2.2 China Telecom: Financial statistics
      • 4.2.3 China Telecom: Operations statistics
    • 4.3 China Unicom
      • 4.3.1 Company overview
      • 4.3.2 China Unicom: Financial statistics
      • 4.3.3 China Unicom: Operations statistics
    • 4.4 China Tower
  • 5. Telecommunications Infrastructure
    • 5.1 Infrastructure developments in China
    • 5.2 International infrastructure
      • 5.2.1 Terrestrial and submarine cable infrastructure
      • 5.2.2 Satellite infrastructure
    • 5.3 Internet networks
      • 5.3.1 Backbone internet networks
      • 5.3.2 International outlet bandwidth
      • 5.3.3 IP Addresses
      • 5.3.4 Domain names
      • 5.3.5 Websites
      • 5.3.6 Web pages
    • 5.4 Television broadcasting
    • 5.5 Cable TV
      • 5.5.1 Cable TV market overview
      • 5.5.2 Digital Cable TV
      • 5.5.3 Next Generation Broadcasting network
    • 5.6 Satellite TV
    • 5.7 Other infrastructure development
      • 5.7.1 Smart cities
      • 5.7.2 Forming a silicon delta in Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau
    • 5.8 Smart grids
      • 5.8.1 Electricity growth projections for China
      • 5.8.2 Smart grids – China investments
      • 5.8.3 State Grid Corporation
    • 5.9 Cloud computing and data centres
  • 6. Internet Market
    • 6.1 Internet growth
      • 6.1.1 China internet statistics
      • 6.1.2 CNNIC statistical survey
    • 6.2 Online activities
      • 6.2.1 Online gaming
      • 6.2.2 Social Networking websites
  • 7. Broadband Market
    • 7.1 Overview
    • 7.2 Broadband statistics
      • 7.2.1 Operator broadband subscribers
      • 7.2.2 Broadband subscribers by access type
    • 7.3 Broadband technologies
      • 7.3.1 Overview
      • 7.3.2 Cable modems
      • 7.3.3 Digital subscriber line (DSL)
      • 7.3.4 Fibre-to-the-home (FttH)
    • 7.4 Broadband TV
      • 7.4.1 Overview of media convergence
      • 7.4.2 Three-network integration trials
      • 7.4.3 Internet Protocol TV (IPTV)
  • 8. Mobile Communications
    • 8.1 Overview of China’s mobile market
    • 8.2 Mobile statistics
      • 8.2.1 Mobile subscribers 1995-2014
      • 8.2.2 Mobile subscribers by operator
    • 8.3 Mobile technologies
      • 8.3.1 PAS/PHS (Little Smart/Xiaolingtong)
      • 8.3.2 GSM
      • 8.3.3 General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)
      • 8.3.4 Enhanced Data for GSM Evolution (EDGE)
      • 8.3.5 CDMA
    • 8.4 Third Generation (3G) mobile
      • 8.4.1 Background
      • 8.4.2 3G development
    • 8.5 Fourth Generation (4G) mobile
      • 8.5.1 Background
      • 8.5.2 Service launch and development
    • 8.6 Voice over LTE (VoLTE)
    • 8.7 Pre-5G
    • 8.8 Mobile Services
      • 8.8.1 Short Message Service (SMS)
      • 8.8.2 M2M
      • 8.8.3 Mobile applications
      • 8.8.4 Mobile internet
    • 8.9 MVNO
  • 9. Forecasts
    • 9.1 Forecast fixed-line subscribers – 2013-2018
    • 9.2 Forecast broadband subscribers – 2013-2018
    • 9.3 Forecast internet users – 2013-2018
    • 9.4 Forecast: Total mobile subscribers 2013-2014; 2018
    • 9.5 Forecast: 3G mobile subscribers
    • Table 1 – Country statistics – 2014
    • Table 2 – Telecom revenue and investment statistics – 2012
    • Table 3 – Telephone network statistics – October 2014
    • Table 4 – Internet user statistics – 2013
    • Table 5 – Broadband statistics – October 2014
    • Table 6 – Mobile statistics – October 2014
    • Table 7 – National telecommunications authorities
    • Table 8 – Percentage share of global GDP – 1991, 2014
    • Table 9 – China GDP growth – 2006 - 2015
    • Table 10 – Telecom industry revenue and fixed asset investment – 2006 - 2013
    • Table 11 – Fixed-line and mobile subscriptions and penetration rate – 1998 - 2014
    • Table 12 – Fixed-line local telephone calls – 2006 - 2013
    • Table 13 – Fixed-line traditional long-distance telephone calls – 2006 - 2013
    • Table 14 – Growth in IP telephony in China – 2004 - 2012
    • Table 15 – China’s telephone subscribers fixed versus mobile overview – 1998 - 2013
    • Table 16 – Product ownership in households: 2005; 2009
    • Table 17 – China Mobile revenue, capex, EBITDA margin, net profit – 2000 - 2014
    • Table 18 – China Mobile ARPU – 1997 – 2014
    • Table 19 – China Mobile data services revenue breakdown – 2010 – 2014
    • Table 20 – China Mobile wireless data revenue – 2010 – 2014
    • Table 21 – China Mobile capex – 2008 – 2014
    • Table 22 – China Mobile subscribers, annual change, and market share – 1997 – 2014
    • Table 23 – China Mobile voice usage – 2006 – 2014
    • Table 24 – China Mobile Advanced services revenue – 2011 – 2012
    • Table 25 – China Mobile wireless data traffic – 2010 – 2014
    • Table 26 – China Telecom financial data – 2001 - 2014
    • Table 27 – China Telecom revenue breakdown – 2010 - 2013
    • Table 28 – China Telecom wireline revenue breakdown – 2007 - 2012
    • Table 29 – China Telecom operating revenue breakdown – 2013
    • Table 30 – China Telecom capex breakdown – 2008 - 2012
    • Table 31 – China Telecom capex breakdown – 2012 - 2013
    • Table 32 – China Telecom fixed-line, PHS and broadband subscribers and ARPU – 2004 - 2014
    • Table 33 – China Telecom mobile and 3G subscribers and ARPU – 2002 – 2014
    • Table 34 – China Telecom key operational statistics – 2007 - 2013
    • Table 35 – China Unicom financial data – 2001 - 2014
    • Table 36 – China Unicom mobile and fixed-line service revenue structure – 2009 – 2014
    • Table 37 – China Unicom mobile and fixed-line voice and non-voice revenue – 2008 – 2014
    • Table 38 – China Unicom mobile service revenue 2G and 3G – 2009 - 2014
    • Table 39 – China Unicom capex breakdown – 2007 – 2012
    • Table 40 – China Unicom capex breakdown – 2013
    • Table 41 – China Unicom GSM mobile subscribers – 2002 - 2014
    • Table 42 – China Unicom key operating metrics – 2009 - 2013
    • Table 43 – China main indicators of telecommunications capacity – 2013
    • Table 44 – China total international outlet bandwidth: 2006 - 2014
    • Table 45 – International outlet bandwidth for key networks – 2004 – 2013
    • Table 46 – IPv4 address resources in China and annual change – 2005 – 2013
    • Table 47 – IPv6 address resources in China and annual change – 2009 – 2013
    • Table 48 – Total domain names in China and annual change – 2005 - 2013
    • Table 49 – Classified domain names in China – 2009; 2012
    • Table 50 – Classified domain names in China – 2013
    • Table 51 – Classified .cn domain names – 2009; 2013
    • Table 52 – Growth of websites in China and annual change – 2002 – 2013
    • Table 53 – Growth of web pages in China and annual change – 2006 - 2013
    • Table 54 – Overview of cable TV market – 2013
    • Table 55 – Cable TV subscriptions and annual growth – 1996 - 2014
    • Table 56 – Digital cable TV subscribers and penetration rate – 2002 - 2015
    • Table 57 – Internet users and annual change – 1996 – 2014
    • Table 58 – Internet subscribers (fixed-line) and annual change – 1996 - 2014
    • Table 59 – CNNIC internet statistical survey – 2011 - 2013
    • Table 60 – Comparison in age structure of China internet users – 2008 – 2013
    • Table 61 – International internet bandwidth by network/operator– 2013
    • Table 62 – China – top online companies by application with global comparison – 2011
    • Table 63 – Utilisation rate and number of users of different network applications – 2009 - 2012
    • Table 64 – Utilisation rate and number of users of different network applications – 2012 - 2013
    • Table 65 – Market share of online search engines – 2005 – 2010; 2012; 2014
    • Table 66 – Search engine users and utilisation rate in China – 2009 - 2013
    • Table 67 – Online banking users and utilisation rate – 2007 – 2013
    • Table 68 – Online video users – 2007 – 2013
    • Table 69 – Online music users and utilisation rate – 2007 – 2013
    • Table 70 – Instant messaging users and utilisation rate – 2007 – 2013
    • Table 71 – Online gaming revenues – 2004 - 2012
    • Table 72 – Online gamers users – 2007 – 2013
    • Table 73 – China’s top 15 social networks – 2011
    • Table 74 – Broadband subscribers, annual change and penetration – 2000 - 2014
    • Table 75 – Broadband subscribers and households – October 2014
    • Table 76 – China Telecom broadband subscribers and annual change – 2003 - 2014
    • Table 77 – China Unicom broadband subscribers and annual change – 2003 - 2014
    • Table 78 – Broadband subscribers and growth by access type – May 2014
    • Table 79 – Cable modem internet subscribers and annual change – 2000 - 2010
    • Table 80 – DSL internet subscribers – 2000 - 2014
    • Table 81 – FttX subscribers – 2006 - 2013
    • Table 82 – Reception devices connected to main television set – 2011
    • Table 83 – IPTV subscribers – 2004 – 2013; 2014
    • Table 84 – Mobile subscribers and annual change – 1995 - 2014
    • Table 85 – Mobile subscribers by operator and annual change – December 2013
    • Table 86 – Little Smart (PHS) subscribers – 2002 - 2012
    • Table 87 – China Telecom CDMA subscribers pre/postpaid, MOU and ARPU – 2002 - 2013
    • Table 88 – 3G subscribers in China – 2008 - 2014
    • Table 89 – Growth of text messages (SMS) in China and annual change – 2000 - 2014
    • Table 90 – China Mobile SMS usage volume and annual change – 2003 - 2012
    • Table 91 – Leading mobile value added services by subscribers and penetration - 2012
    • Table 92 – Mobile internet subscribers and annual change – 2006 - 2013
    • Table 93 – China Mobile - mobile internet use – 2010 - 2013
    • Table 94 – Forecast fixed-line subscribers and penetration – lower band: 2014; 2018
    • Table 95 – Forecast fixed-line subscribers and penetration – higher band: 2014; 2018
    • Table 96 – Forecast broadband subscribers and population penetration – lower band: 2014; 2018
    • Table 97 – Forecast broadband subscribers and household penetration – higher band: 2014; 2018
    • Table 98 – Forecast internet users and penetration – lower band: 2014; 2018
    • Table 99 – Forecast internet users and penetration – higher band: 2014; 2018
    • Table 100 – Forecast mobile subscribers and penetration lower band forecast - 2014; 2018
    • Table 101 – Forecast mobile subscribers and penetration higher band forecast – 2014; 2018
    • Table 102 – Forecast 3G mobile subscribers and share of mobile market – 2013 - 2014, 2018
    • Chart 1 – China fixed-line and mobile subscribers – 2003 - 2014
    • Chart 2 – Fixed-line traditional long-distance telephone calls – 2008 - 2013
    • Chart 3 – Internet penetration rate of key countries – June 2012
    • Chart 4 - China Mobile subscribers and annual change 2006 - 2014
    • Chart 5 - China Telecom share of total operating revenue – 2013
    • Chart 6 – China Unicom subscriber data – mobile, fixed-line, broadband – 2009 - 2013
    • Chart 7 – China total international outlet bandwidth – 2006 - 2014
    • Chart 8 – IPv4 address resources in China and annual change– 2006 - 2013
    • Chart 9 – Websites in China and annual change– 2002 - 2013
    • Chart 10 – Web pages in China and annual change– 2006 - 2013
    • Chart 11 –Cable TV subscribers and digital TV penetration – 2006 - 2015
    • Chart 12 – Number of internet users and annual change in China – 2003 - 2014
    • Chart 13 – Comparison in age structure of China internet users – 2008 - 2013
    • Chart 14 – China broadband subscribers and household penetration – 2003 - 2014
    • Chart 15 – China mobile subscriber growth, population penetration – 2005 - 2014
    • Chart 16 – Leading mobile value added services - penetration – 2012
    • Chart 17 - Mobile internet subscribers and annual change - 2007 - 2013
    • Exhibit 1 – Map of China
    • Exhibit 2 – Restructuring of China’s telecommunications industry
    • Exhibit 3 – China Mobile Limited at a glance – 2013
    • Exhibit 4 – China Telecom Corporation Ltd at a glance – 2013
    • Exhibit 5 – China Unicom Ltd at a glance – 2013
    • Exhibit 6 – Regional/international fibre optic cable networks: August 2013
    • Exhibit 7 – Selected Chinese satellite service providers and satellites
    • Exhibit 8 – China Satcom satellite fleet
    • Exhibit 9 – Types of telecom convergence

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