SINGAPORE, Sept 18 China plans to invest 2
trillion yuan ($323 billion) to improve its broadband
infrastructure by 2020 with the aim of taking the nearly entire
population online, a vice minister said on Wednesday.
The government is trying to improve fixed-line and wireless
connectivity throughout China, home to the largest number of
mobile phone users in the world but where only 45 percent of the
population have Internet access.
China's investment in broadband could benefit global network
equipment makers such as Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent
, as well as home-grown players like Huawei
Technologies Co Ltd and ZTE Corp .
"Our 3G network has to cover cities and villages and at the
same time, we have to put 4G into wide commercial use," Shang
Bing, a vice minister at the Ministry of Information and
Industry, said in an interview published on official website
Shang said the government aimed to boost the average
broadband speed in Chinese cities to 20 Mbps by 2015, which is
less than what Internet users in Hong Kong and Singapore
In rural China, where Internet penetration is very low,
broadband speeds would hit 4 Mbps by 2015, he said.
China's broadband strategy will ensure that the number of 3G
and LTE users will increase to 1.2 billion by 2020, four times
of the current figure, Shang said.
The government aims to increase the number of broadband
users by 25 million and fibre optic Internet users by 35 million
in 2013, according to the state-run China Internet Network
Three companies currently operate all of China's broadband
services: China Mobile, China Telecom and
(Reporting by Lee Chyen Yee in SINGAPORE and Paul Carsten in
BEIJING; Editing by Miral Fahmy)