Rumours have been circulating over the past few days that the Chinese authorities will allow their major networks to start using the 4G spectrum for customers. These rumours have gathered prominence after it was revealed by a company insider that China Mobile’s departments for 4G have been “unusually busy” lately. Liu Dalong, director of the mobile internet research centre in Beijing also told the Global Times that China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicorn are all doing a large amount of preparation at the moment, hinting towards the networks being informed that the 4G licenses are looming.
The investment that 4G will bring into an already booming telecoms nation is unprecedented. Industry analyst Xiang Lagang estimates the initial launch to generate $82 billion, largely caused by the rush of consumers to adopt 4G price plans and upgrade their existing handsets to be 4G compatible. Over the next few years this level of investment is predicted to surpass $164 billion, which is entirely possible for a country with over 700 million subscribers on one network, making it the largest network in the world.
China Mobile are already trying to get an advantage on their competitors by allowing a set number of people in 8 of the countries most popular cities to try the service for free. This is in an attempt to persuade customers that 4G really is worth it, as Liu Dalong suggest customers won’t immediately stray from 3G services, with many believing it already serves their needs. However, an affluent middle class with likely be quickly swayed by streaming movies and data hungry games whilst on the move.