Business / Companies

China Telecom sets annual target for 4G devices

By Shen Jingting (China Daily) Updated: 2014-01-17 07:15

China Telecom Corp Ltd, the nation's smallest wireless network operator, aims to sell 36 million fourth-generation terminals in 2014.

Chairman Wang Xiaochu said the company met its target of selling 80 million mobile phones last year. The figure accounted for about 22 percent of China's total mobile phone market during the period.

Wang forecast China Telecom will sell 100 million mobile phones this year.

As of November, China Telecom had 185 million mobile subscribers, including about 100 million 3G customers.

"About half of China Telecom's customers use smartphones," Wang said during the 2014 China Telecom Terminal Industry Chain Conference, which was held in Beijing on Thursday.

The rapid adoption of smartphones has changed the carrier's business model. Wang said data services and the traditional voice business each now accounts for about half of the business.

"We will promote our 4G telecom services in major Chinese cities, while in rural areas, China Telecom continues to push forward the 3G services," Wang said.

Last August, China Telecom formed a joint venture with Chinese Internet company NetEase Inc to launch a mobile chatting tool called Yixin. It was said to be the world's first joint venture set up by a telecommunications operator and an Internet company.

Wang said Yixin had about 39 million users by the end of 2013 and achieved "constant, rapid growth". China Telecom will step up promotions for the Yixin app and aims to add 100 million users this year, he continued.

Being the smallest mobile operator in China, China Telecom said it still has a good chance to catch up with domestic rivals China Mobile Ltd and China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd.

A favorable policy environment, together with a period of radical transformation, is likely to create "a new China Telecom" in five years, according to the company.

China intends to be thoroughly connected to the Internet by 2015, with urban and rural household broadband speeds reaching 20 megabits per second and 4 Mbps respectively, said the State Council last year.

"The government's guideline will bring enormous opportunities. Meanwhile, China Telecom will focus on developing emerging business fields, such as data operation, Internet applications and other ICT businesses.

"Those new areas will account for 50 percent of China Telecom's total revenue by 2017," Wang said.

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