China's telecom firms to end roaming fees, offer corporate pricing incentives in network push

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s three state-owned telecommunications companies plan to eliminate domestic roaming fees and offer pricing incentives to small and mid-sized enterprises, to encourage corporate customers to adopt network technology such as cloud computing.

China Telecommunications Corp, China Mobile Communications Corp [CHNMC.UL] and China United Network Communications Group Ltd [CHNUT.UL] will end inter-province roaming fees by October, the chairmen of the three firms told reporters in Beijing on Monday.

The three - whose Hong Kong-listed subsidiaries are China Telecom Corp Ltd, China Mobile Ltd and China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd - will also have discount pricing schemes for businesses, the chairmen said without elaborating.

The comments from as the government works to lower telecom fees to spur consumer spending, cut corporate operating expenses, and encourage enterprises to adopt network technology - all under a broader policy of increasing efficiency and capacity in traditional industries.

The government has also encouraged price competition in the telecom sector by approving applications from private enterprises seeking to market and sell telecom services.

The Ministry of Information Industry and Technology on Monday said it has approved applications to provide broadband internet services from 198 private enterprises under a pilot project. The number adds to approvals for 42 enterprises to resell mobile network services starting from 2013.

Reporting by Cate Cadell; Editing by Christopher Cushing