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China's broadband speed more than doubles in 3 years, report says

By Zheng Zheng in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2024-04-12 09:33
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China's overall fixed and mobile broadband speeds have increased by over 2.5 times in three years, according to a report released on Wednesday.

The report, from the Broadband Development Alliance, showed that in the fourth quarter of last year, the national average fixed broadband download speed reached 83.8 megabits per second, up 17 percent year-on-year, while the average combined 4G/5G mobile broadband download speed exceeded 129 Mbps, up 32 percent year-on-year.

Such speeds would enable the downloading of a 10 gigabyte 1080p high-definition movie in about 16 minutes on a fixed connection, and under 11 minutes on a mobile connection.

According to the latest data from network analysis company Ookla, the national averages placed China eighth globally for fixed broadband speeds and sixth for mobile performance, with mobile download speeds well above the 51.1 Mbps global average.

The increased fixed broadband speed has been fueled by the accelerated nationwide deployment of gigabit broadband, with 163 million households subscribed to gigabit plans by the end of last year. By February, that user base had expanded to 172 million, accounting for 26.7 percent of fixed broadband users.

China had 805 million 5G subscribers at the end of last year, representing 46.6 percent of mobile users — 2.5 times the global average 5G penetration rate.

The latest data from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology show China's total mobile subscriptions reached 1.74 billion in February, with 5G making up nearly half at 851 million.

From a traffic perspective, 5G data consumption grew 59.8 percent year-on-year through February, contributing 53.3 percent of China's total 48.7 billion GB of mobile internet traffic.

Among the major operators, China Telecom achieved the highest average fixed broadband download speed in the last quarter of last year at 84.7 Mbps, while China Mobile led mobile broadband with an average download speed of 131 Mbps.

At the provincial level, Shanghai ranked first nationwide for download performance across both fixed and mobile broadband networks.

The city has now set its sights on building an optical fiber network with a communication capacity of more than 10 gigabits per second and developing 5G-Advanced technologies by the end of 2026.

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