While Modi’s Digital India strives to spread internet across the country, the number of 4G mobile users in India’s northern neighbour China, has crossed 250 Million in mere 20 months of its launch since December 2013.
This accounts for roughly 20% of market penetration. And if one takes into account 3G users as well, as many as 695 million users out of a total of 1.29 billion users (around 54%) are using high speed mobile broadband as 3G/4G. The data was released yesterday by the Chinese government agency, Ministry of Industry and Information Technology(MIIT).
In comparison, at the end of 2014, number of 4G users in the US was 100 million making it a 40% share out of total mobile users. Apart from increase in 4G subscribers, the mobile data usage has also shot up by 85% from last year with an average mobile user in China using 330 Mb of data every month.
However, despite the increase in 4G users and mobile data usage, the growth rate of mobile users in China is at an all time low, having added only 8.5 million new mobile users in the first seven months of 2015. This number is just a quarter of the number for the same period last year and indicates towards the possible saturation of mobile users in the Chinese market. In addition to it, the growth of 4G has possibly also led to the downfall of 3G in China as according to MIIT, the number of 3G users fell down by 4.36 million in July alone.
Nevertheless, due to the continued increase in 4G users, the three telecom giants of China namely China Telecom, China Unicom, and China Mobile made a whopping 75.3 billion yuan (about $11.8 billion) in the first half of 2015. Although the three said companies faced a major reshuffle in the senior leadership positions recently, International Telecommunication Union in China has confirmed that it is actively developing 5G technology keeping up with the pace of technology and development in the country.