BEIJING — China had a total of 836 million 4G network users as of the end of March, up from 770 million three months ago, figures from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) showed on April 26.
Along with the rapid growth in users, Chinese 4G subscribers have also increased their use of data services, with the average 4G user consuming 1.28 gigabytes of data per month as of the first quarter, up from 1 gigabytes at the end of last year, according to the ministry.
China has the world’s largest 4G network and is aiming to add 2 million 4G base stations, mainly for townships and villages, by 2018.
Also by the end of the first quarter, China had 310 million users of fixed-line broadband network, and nearly 80 percent of them used fiber broadband products, said Wen Ku, an official with the MIIT.
The ministry has been prompting domestic mobile service operators to eliminate charges for domestic roaming and long-distance calls as early as possible, Wen added.
The MIIT announced last month that fees for domestic roaming and long-distance calls will be waived as of Oct 1 this year as data services have become a major source of revenue for mobile service operators.