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 focus on large scale mobile broadband investment.

Mobile subscriber growth is expected to be slower due to a saturated and mature market over the next five years to 2023. 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 4G and 5G investments.

In the short term the need to adequately serve subscribers based on handset type influences the allocation of limited radio frequency resources between the three technology platforms. In the medium to long term the need to maximise revenue is driving strategies encouraging subscribers to migrate to higher paying 4G and 5G products based on mobile broadband.

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).

Mobile broadband has seen very strong growth in China over the past five years. Proliferation of LTE and improving affordability of smartphones is driving growth both in mobile broadband subscribers as well as the amount of traffic used per subscriber. This strong growth is expected to continue over the next five years to 2023 but at an increasing slower grow rate due to a fast maturing market. The mobile broadband market will be driven by increasingly faster speeds offered by the mobile operators as they roll out their 4G and 5G networks and improving tariffs due to strong competition.

China has emerged as one of the most aggressive countries promoting 5G and is projected to become the world’s largest 5G market by 2025, as networks are rolled out in urban areas and handset vendors integrate 5G chipsets into mobile devices. China is predicted to account for more than two-thirds of all 5G connections by 2025. The Chinese government is a major driving force behind the country’s adoption of IoT with plans such as the “Made in China 2025” strategy. Government backing of 5G, artificial intelligence and data analytics is driving the rapid development of IoT in Greater China and the region is predicted to dominate “industrial IoT.”

Key developments:

  • China is projected to become the world’s largest 5G market by 2025.
  • China is predicted to account for more than two-thirds of all 5G connections by 2025.
  • Mobile broadband has seen very strong growth in China over the past five years.
  • China possesses the largest M2M market in the world.

Companies covered in this report include:

China Mobile; China Telecom; China Unicom, Apple

Table of Contents

  • 1. Synopsis
  • 2. Market overview and analysis
  • 3. Mobile statistics
    • 3.1 Mobile Statistics and Forecast
      • 3.1.1 OTT messaging services
    • 3.2 Mobile broadband
  • 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
    • 4.4 Roaming Charges
  • 5. Mobile infrastructure
    • 5.1 Second Generation (2G) mobile
    • 5.2 Third Generation (3G) mobile
    • 5.3 Fourth Generation (4G) mobile
    • 5.4 Fifth Generation (5G) mobile
      • 5.4.1 Overview
      • 5.4.2 5G Testing and Trials
      • 5.4.3 Market Forecasts
    • 5.5 Other infrastructure developments
      • 5.5.1 Voice over LTE (VoLTE)
      • 5.5.2 Small Cell Technology
      • 5.5.3 NFC
      • 5.5.4 Tower Sharing Joint Venture
    • 5.6 IoT and M2M networks
      • 5.6.1 China Mobile
      • 5.6.2 China Telecom
      • 5.6.3 China Unicom
  • 6. Major mobile operators
    • 6.1 Operators
    • 6.2 China Mobile
      • 6.2.1 Company overview
      • 6.2.2 Financial and operational statistics
    • 6.3 China Telecom
    • 6.4 China Unicom
    • 6.5 MVNOs
  • 7. Mobile content and applications
    • 7.1 Rich Communication Services (RCS)
    • 7.2 Mobile gaming
    • 7.3 m-commerce
    • 7.4 m-banking (payments/loans)
    • 7.5 Mobile Advertising
    • 7.6 m-TV
    • 7.7 Apps
      • 7.7.1 China Mobile
      • 7.7.2 China Telecom
      • 7.7.3 China Unicom
      • 7.7.4 Apple iOS App Store
  • 8. Related reports
  • Table 1 – Mobile Subscribers and Penetration (with Forecast) – 2003 - 2023
  • Table 2 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and annual change – 1995 - 2002
  • Table 3 – Mobile Broadband Subscribers and Penetration (with Forecast) – 2009 - 2023
  • Table 4 –– Mobile subscribers by operator - 2002 - 2018
  • Table 5 – Mobile subscriber market share by operator - 2002 - 2018
  • Table 6 – China Mobile revenue, capex, EBITDA margin, net profit – 2000 - 2017
  • Table 7 – CAPEX breakdown – 2017 - 2018
  • Table 8 – China Mobile ARPU – 1997 – 2017
  • Table 9 – China Mobile subscribers – 1997 - 2018
  • Table 10 – China Mobile - 3G and 4G subscribers – 2015 - 2018
  • Table 11 – China Telecom mobile and 3G/4G subscribers and ARPU – 2002 - 2018
  • Table 13 – Historic - China Unicom 2G and 3G/4G subscribers – 2002 – 2015
  • Table 14 – China Unicom - ARPU– 2008 - 2018
  • Chart 1 – Mobile Subscribers and Penetration (with Forecast) – 2008 - 2023
  • Chart 2 – Mobile Broadband Subscribers and Penetration (with Forecast) – 2009 - 2023
  • Chart 3 – Mobile subscriber market share by operator - 2002 - 2018

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