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China urges faster, cheaper Internet by year end

Updated: Dec 8,2015 2:58 PM     Xinhua

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) urged telecommunication companies to lower Internet prices and elevate connection speeds on Dec 8.

Telecommunication enterprises should make sure earlier targets are met by the end of this year and implement speed increases and price reduction measures, MIIT Minister Miao Wei said at the opening ceremony of the 2015 China International Information Communication Expo, which will be held in Beijing from Dec 8 to Dec 11.

By the end of this year, the average broadband speed for users in major municipalities and provincial capitals will be increased to 20 megabytes per second (Mbps) from the current 9 Mbps. Other urban areas should be improved to 10 Mbps from the current 7 Mbps, the MIIT announced earlier in May.

Average prices for mobile phone Internet and fixed broadband should sharply decrease by at least 30 percent from the previous year by the end of this year.

Meanwhile, the MIIT will work hard to support the development of China’s information and communication industry, as well as fulfill its role in safety supervision and management, Miao said.

The ministry will press ahead with the overall implementation of the “Broadband China” strategy, which was floated in August 2013 by the State Council to boost information consumption and expand broadband coverage across the country, as well as the establishment of citywide and 4G networks.

The MIIT will fully carry out the “Internet Plus” action plan in an effort to integrate digital technology into traditional sectors to make them more efficient, Miao said.

The plan was unveiled by the State Council at the beginning of July.

The ministry also vowed to accelerate the integration of information technology with various industries, and strengthen the management and security control of Internet industry.

China’s top three telecom operators saw a healthy spike in revenue thanks to services like 4G, with their combined telecom business revenue in the first seven months hitting 1.25 trillion yuan, up 23.8 percent from a year earlier, MIIT’s official data showed earlier.

The country’s 4G users increased by more than 25 million in July to reach 250 million. The number of mobile Internet users reached 937 million, and fixed broadband users amount to 208 million.

In the first half of the year, the volume of China’s e-business trade soared by 26 percent year on year, with online retail sales booming to 45 percent more than the previous year, official data showed.

New growth impetus, especially the Internet-based economy, is rapidly developing, Miao said, which offers new room for mass innovation and entrepreneurship and adds power to economic growth.

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