Just as the new year (2015) was about to begin, the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information hinted at more development in terms of 4G users with the minster, Miao Yu, announcing in a nationwide government conference that a 2015 goal would be 250 million 4G users in China — to be realised within that year, as reported by Xinhua (link in simplified Chinese).
The minister made the remarks in pledging to keep developing broadband infrastructure; also in the plan were moves to strengthen management of the Internet industry (read: “regulatory moves”) and better information security (this is where some of us can fall into the trap into thinking: “does this mean more censorship?”).
Minister Miao Yu made the remarks at the same time as addressing shortcomings, which included a visible gap between telecommunications infrastructure in the city and the countryside, as well as hurdles hampering better order in the Internet industry. Also, the issue of data security was also mentioned as a problem to be tackled.
China is sticking to the development of the TD-LTE network in developing 4G services, although the minister has also stated that LTE FDD licences were to be issued “when conditions were more mature”. Media and network convergence were also mentioned as a key move to be introduced nationwide.
4G at present is new to China. The user base continues to rise, but coverage remains short of being available universally in the country. For iPhone users, the most beneficial impact of 4G has been the “sudden” increase in speeds after sticking with 2.5G services when China Mobile “missed out” on an iDevice-compatible 3G network made available by competitors.