China spurs growth of mobile Internet

Updated: 2011-11-01 11:21


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BEIJING-- A senior expert said Monday that China will take greater strides in promoting the development of its mobile Internet sector.

Wang Xiujun, chief engineer of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), said that the government will step up policy support for mobile Internet because it "promotes industrial integration and leads to revolutionary changes in development and technology."

Wang said the country will speed up comprehensive upgrades for its information networks and boost the development of third-generation technology (3G), especially homegrown TD variants of 3G and LTE (long-term evolution) technology.

Along with the development of information networks, the innovation and development of integrated technologies and businesses should also be highlighted, Wang said during the ongoing fifth International Mobile Internet Conference, which opened Monday in Beijing.

Wang said that the Chinese government will attach more importance to the protection of users' personal information and their rightful interests and maintain a healthy environment for the development of the mobile Internet sector.

The two-day meeting is sponsored by China Mobile, the world's largest telecommunications firm by number of users.

"The development speed of mobile Internet is far quicker than what we imagined. Mobile Internet is becoming a reality, and is deeply changing our habits and behaviors," a statement on the firm's website said.

The statement said mobile Internet has also had a great impact on the traditional operation and business modules of the mobile telecommunications industry.

MIIT data showed that the number of Chinese mobile phone users hit 952.31 million by the end of September, 102.46 million of whom are 3G users.

According to the China Internet Networks Information Center (CNNIC), the number of netizens in China reached 485 million by the end of June this year. As of the end of 2010, the number of people who accessed the Internet through mobile phones had already reached 303 million.

Mobile Internet users are even expected to outnumber those who access the Internet through computers next year, according to Enfodesk, a think tank engaged in researching of new media economics in China.

Li Zhengmao, China Mobile's vice president, said the production of smart mobile phones has jumped 50 percent year-on-year globally. Li added that the continuous development and deepened applications of 3G and LTE technologies means that mobile Internet has entered a new phase for rapid growth.

With more than 630 million subscribers, China Mobile has been pushing for the country's homegrown 4G standard, known as TD-LTE, or "Time Division-Long Term Evolution," to become a globally accepted standard.

Huang Xiaoqing, who heads China Mobile's telecommunications research institute, said the TD-LTE technology will substantially lower bandwidth costs. He said the technology will provide faster broadband wireless services to meet future demand that the current 3G network would be unable to deliver.

China Mobile also announced Friday the incorporation of a new company to accelerate its development of 3G and smartphone technology.

The subsidiary, China Mobile Terminal Co Ltd, will handle customization, testing, procurement, sales and service for the group's third-generation (3G) devices. The new firm will also speed up the research and development of TD-LTE.