China - Mobile Infrastructure, Broadband, Operators - Statistics and Analyses

Synopsis

Although China boasts the largest mobile market in the world, there is still much room for growth given the relatively recent focus on large scale LTE investment. China’s mobile market is served by mobile network operators China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom which operate a variety of technology platforms that reflect the commercial preferences of operators and the industry development policies of the government.

Entering 2016 all three mobile network operators are focused on deploying LTE networks and monetizing such investments by enticing end users to upgrade to higher ARPU LTE products such as mobile broadband. The number of mobile subscribers passed the 1.3 billion subscriber mark, with penetration surpassing 100%. China Mobile continues to dominate the mobile industry with 63% market share.

Mobile subscriber growth is expected to be very slow due to a saturated and mature market. Operators will continue to focus on increasing ARPU in light of diminishing opportunities to acquire new subscribers and the need for operators to maximise monetization of LTE investments.

Operators are also investing in technologies design to maximise the user experience such as Rich Communication Service (RCS), Voice over LTE (VoLTE) and Near Field Communications (NFC).

Key developments:

  • China Mobile is planning to continue expanding mobile coverage into rural and remote areas of the country.
  • In mid 2016 China Mobile began commercialisation of the world’s largest network functions virtualisation-enabled network (NVF) infrastructure.
  • LTE subscribers expected to surpass 3G subscribers by 2016
  • LTE drives almost double the amount of data used compared with 3G
  • Mobile is the most popular Internet access method in China
  • China possesses the largest M2M market in the world
  • To cut costs China’s operators have pooled assets into a Tower sharing joint venture company
  • Increasing focus on mobile apps by China’s digital media giants due to the proliferation of mobile phones and LTE
  • China overtook the USA in terms of iOS app downloads.

Companies covered in this report include:

China Mobile; China Telecom; China Unicom; Apple

Table of Contents

  • 1. Synopsis
  • 2. Market analysis
  • 3. Mobile statistics
    • 3.1 General statistics
      • 3.1.1 OTT messaging services
    • 3.2 Mobile broadband
    • 3.3 Mobile Data
    • 3.4 Forecasts
      • 3.4.1 Forecast: Mobile Internet subscribers 2016-2020
  • 4. Regulatory issues
    • 4.1 Licensing
      • 4.1.1 LTE TDD
      • 4.1.2 LTE FDD
      • 4.1.3 MVNO licences
    • 4.2 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
    • 4.3 VAT Introduction
  • 5. Mobile infrastructure
    • 5.1 Digital networks
      • 5.1.1 GSM
      • 5.1.2 CDMA
      • 5.1.3 Third Generation (3G) mobile
      • 5.1.4 Fourth Generation (4G) mobile
    • 5.2 Other infrastructure developments
      • 5.2.1 General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)
      • 5.2.2 Enhanced Data for GSM Evolution (EDGE)
      • 5.2.3 Voice over LTE (VoLTE)
      • 5.2.4 Pre-5G
      • 5.2.5 NFC
      • 5.2.6 Tower Sharing Joint Venture
    • 5.3 IoT and M2M networks
      • 5.3.1 China Mobile
      • 5.3.2 China Telecom
      • 5.3.3 China Unicom
  • 6. Major mobile operators
    • 6.1 Operators
    • 6.2 China Mobile Ltd (CML)
      • 6.2.1 Company overview
      • 6.2.2 China Mobile: Financial statistics
      • 6.2.3 China Mobile: Operations statistics
    • 6.3 China Telecom
    • 6.4 China Unicom
    • 6.5 MVNOs
  • 7. Mobile content and applications
    • 7.1 Mobile internet
    • 7.2 Rich Communication Services (RCS)
    • 7.3 Mobile gaming
    • 7.4 m-commerce
    • 7.5 m-banking (payments/loans)
    • 7.6 Mobile Advertising
    • 7.7 m-TV
    • 7.8 Apps
      • 7.8.1 China Mobile
      • 7.8.2 China Telecom
      • 7.8.3 China Unicom
      • 7.8.4 Apple iOS App Store
  • 8. Related reports
  • Table 1 – Historical - Mobile subscribers and annual change – 1995 - 2002
  • Table 2 –– Mobile subscribers, Penetration and Annual Change - 2002 - 2016
  • Table 3 – Online Instant messaging users and utilisation rate – 2009 – 2015
  • Table 4 – Mobile broadband subscribers – 2009 - 2016
  • Table 5 – China Mobile - mobile data traffic – 2010 - 2015
  • Table 6 – China Telecom – Monthly Average data Traffic per handset – 2011 – 2015
  • Table 7 – China Telecom – Total Handset data traffic – 2012 – 2015
  • Table 8 – China Unicom – Total Handset data traffic – 2010 - 2015
  • Table 9 – Forecast mobile subscribers and penetration rates – 2016; 2018; 2021
  • Table 10 – Mobile subscribers by operator and market share – 2016
  • Table 11 –– Mobile subscribers by provider, penetration and Annual Change - 2002 - 2016
  • Table 12 – Mobile subscriber market share by provider - 2002 - 2016
  • Table 13 – China Mobile revenue, capex, EBITDA margin, net profit – 2000 - 2015
  • Table 14 – CAPEX breakdown – 2015 - 2016
  • Table 15 – China Mobile ARPU – 1997 – 2016
  • Table 16 – China Mobile subscribers, annual change, and market share – 1997 - 2016
  • Table 17 – China Mobile - 3G and 4G subscribers – 2016
  • Table 18 – China Telecom mobile and 3G/4G subscribers and ARPU – 2002 - 2016
  • Table 19 – China Unicom 2G and 3G/4G subscribers – 2002 – 2016
  • Table 21 – China Unicom 2G and 3G/4G ARPU– 2008 - 2015
  • Table 22 – Utilisation rate and number of users for mobile applications
  • Table 23 – Mobile internet subscribers and annual change – 2006 - 2015
  • Table 24 – Mobile online gaming users and utilisation rate – 2010 – 2015
  • Table 25 – Apple net sales for Greater China – 2012 - 2015
  • Chart 1 – China Mobile market subscribers and Annual Change – 2002 - 2016
  • Exhibit 1 – China Mobile Limited at a glance

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