Workers share their photos online via mobile phones on a lantern fair during the past Lantern Festival in Wuhan, central China’s Hubei province. (Photo from People’s Daily)
Workers share their photos online via mobile phones on a lantern fair during the past Lantern Festival in Wuhan, central China’s Hubei province. (Photo from People’s Daily)

China will cut rates for mobile internet services by at least 30 percent before the end of 2018 through abolishing domestic data roaming fees, according to the work report delivered by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang Monday morning at the opening of the first session of the 13th National People’s Congress, China’s top legislature.

“China will do more to speed up broadband and bring down internet rates, achieve high-speed broadband access in both urban and rural areas, and make free internet access available in more public areas,” said Premier Li Keqiang.

In addition, the country will, according to the report, significantly lower the rates of home broadband, and corporate broadband as well as dedicated internet access services.

These steps will bring tangible benefits to people and businesses, and boost the development of a Digital China, the report added.

“We will lower the costs of mobile data packages by more than 30 percent by the end of this year, as lots of measures will be adopted to speed up broadband and bring down internet rates,” Miao Wei, Minister of Industry and Information Technology told People’s Daily during an interview on the sidelines of the session.

He explained that apart from abolishing domestic data roaming fees, the unit price of mobile data will also be reduced.

Millions of Chinese households have already benefited from the multiple measures implemented in the past three years to speed up broadband and cut service rates.

China is home to the most fiber and mobile broadband users in the world, said Miao, adding that 70 percent of China’s home broadband users now have a bandwidth of over 50M, and the number of China’s 4G network users is close to 1 billion.

As part of efforts to lower internet fees, the country has sped up broadband while maintaining original charges, adopted rollover data services and abolished the long-distance and roaming charges of voice calls, according to Miao.

To be specific, the unit price for broadband services and mobile communications has dropped by 90 percent and 83.5 percent, respectively, the minister added.
Miao pledged that the ministry will step up efforts to fulfill the missions. Apart from lowering the costs of mobile data packages by 30 percent, the ministry will also encourage the reduction of rates of home broadband, corporate broadband and dedicated internet access services, he elaborated.

By Wang Yuan

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