Virtual telecom operators get the nod

Xinhua
China has given the greenlight for virtual telecom operator businesses after piloting it for almost five years.
Xinhua

China has given the greenlight for virtual telecom operator businesses after piloting it for almost five years.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has issued official licenses to 15 private virtual telecoms to resell internet access, the ministry said on Monday on its website.

These virtual operators, including Chinese tech giants Alibaba and Xiaomi, do not maintain the network infrastructure but rent wholesale services like roaming and text messages from the country’s three major telecom infrastructure operators China Mobile, China Unicom, and China Telecom. A total of 42 Chinese enterprises received pilot licenses to operate virtual telecom businesses.

The telecom sector raked in 672 billion yuan (US$99.44 billion) in revenue in first half, up 4.1 percent year on year.

China has the world’s largest 4G network and continues further expansion, with a goal to add 450,000 new 4G base stations this year to improve signal coverage in buildings, elevators, and other indoor space, as well as on railways and expressways. 

The number of fourth-generation mobile internet users in China has exceeded 1.1 billion, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said.

Mobile broadband users including 3G and 4G subscribers reached 1.26 billion by the end of June this year, accounting for 83.2 percent of the country’s total mobile phone accounts, an MIIT report showed. Mobile phone users of the three telecom service providers reached 1.51 billion by the end of June.

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