TAIPEI, Taiwan — China Mobile Ltd. Chairman Xi Guohua (奚國華) visited the headquarters of Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC Corp. (宏達電) Thursday as part of a business trip to seek further cooperation in fourth-generation (4G) and more advanced wireless technology. Xi arrived at HTC’s headquarters in New Taipei City’s Xindian District and was welcomed by HTC Chairwoman Cher Wang (王雪紅) and HTC Chief Executive Officer Peter Chou (周永明).
While there have been many 4G smartphones for sale at retail prices of CNY1,000 (US$163) or below in the China market, China-based vendors including Coolpad and Lenovo are expected to launch models for sale at CNY500 or below by the end of 2014, according to president He Ning for China Mobile Device, a wholly-owned subsidiary of China Mobile. 4G smartphones priced at up to CNY500 will be mainly support TD-LTE, TD-SCDMA and GSM, with chip solutions to be provided by Taiwan-based MediaTek, He said.
China Mobile’s branches in Shandong, Fujian and Shanxi are reportedly planning employee layoffs and nearly 300,000 staff will lose their jobs. According to reports in Chinese local media, a recent internal document from China Mobile shows that about 62% of employees in this telecom group are part-time staff. To meet the requirements of related regulations, the group needs to lower the ratio of part-time and outsourced workers to below 50% by the end of 2014; and the ratio will be further reduced to below 10% by the end of 2015.
Google announced that carriers from various countries, including China Mobile, China Telecom, and France’s Global Transit, will jointly invest in a trans-Pacific high-speed Internet cable system named “Faster”. The total investment of this Faster project is estimated to be about USD300 million and participating companies include China Mobile, China Telecom, Global Transit, Google, Japan’s KDDI, and Singapore’s SingTel. This project is expected to be completed and put into operation before the second quarter of 2016.
China Mobile is reportedly negotiating with Axiata Group Bhd, a leading mobile operator in Malaysia, to acquire a 20% stake in the Malaysian firm. Calculating with Axiata’s latest closing price, China Mobile needs to pay about USD3.7 billion for the 20% stake. So far, the two parties have not yet reached any agreement, according to reports in foreign media. Axiata and its controlling shareholder Khazanah Nasional Bhd are reluctant to sell that large amount of shares; meanwhile, the price offered by China Mobile is reportedly too low. Khazanah, a Malaysian national investment company, currently owns a 38.8% stake in Axiata.
Three Chinese telecom operators announced they are pooling their resources to organize a joint infrastructure company that will focus on building and running the telecom towers. The new joint venture, China Communications Facilities Services, also intends to rehabilitate state-controlled telecom companies by promoting competition. State-owned China Mobile has the biggest market share, or 40 percent in the newly established company. China Unicom has 30.1 percent and China Telecom 29.9 percent.
China Mobile is the world’s largest mobile telco by user-base with 787 million subscribers and the fifth-biggest company in China. Near the end of last year, it was the first telco in the country to receive a 4G license from China’s Ministry of Internet and Information Technology (MIIT), and the number of LTE subscribers on its network has grown strongly ever since.
Nokia Networks strengthens its position as the top non-Chinese vendor in the second phase of a significant TD-LTE tender with the world’s largest wireless operator, China Mobile. Announcing this recently, the networking infrastructure provider said that it is is the only non-Chinese vendor to win a double-digit unit share in China. With this contract, Nokia Networks further expands its 4G footprint in China to cover 18 out of 31 provinces, including mega cities and provinces such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong, and builds on over 20 years of successful cooperation between the two companies, the company said in its statement.
Chinese telecom operator China Mobile announced that the company plans to acquire a 18% stake in True, one of the three major telecom carriers in Thailand, for about CNY5.5 billion. On the completion of the transaction, the two parties will implement cooperation in various sectors, including technology and network construction, procurement sharing, and market development. However, since the deal involves state-owned asset and listed company, it is still subject to the approval of regulatory authorities in Thailand.
Executives from China Telecom and China Mobile confirmed that the three largest Chinese telecom operators will establish a joint venture without sharing base stations. Rumors previously spread on the Internet that China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom would jointly invest to establish a national base station company. After the founding of the company, it would be responsible for the new construction of base stations, towers, and pipelines of the three telecom operators. In the future, it would include the operators’ existing base stations, towers, and pipelines.
True Corp – a holding company of TrueMove, one of the main telcos in Thailand – has announced an alliance with China Mobile (NYSE:CHL; HKG:0941) through a private placement of approximately 28,600 million baht (US$882 million). The amount is equivalent to China Mobile taking 18 percent of True’s total shares. The news was first mentioned earlier today by Reuters as True Corp shares were suspended earlier on in the day pending the announcement. The news was confirmed by True moments ago.
China Mobile and China Publishing Group signed a strategic deal to enhance China Mobile’s mobile reading service. With the agreement, the two parties will work together on digital reading services, including content development, e-book business model exploration, operations, and marketing. Financial terms of the deal were not released.
Nawaz Sharif, prime minister of Pakistan, recently issued 3G and 4G licenses to CMPak, China Mobile’s subsidiary in Pakistan, in Islamabad. Sharif said during the issuance meeting that Pakistan currently has over 132 million mobile users and they will soon be able to experience the most advanced mobile communications technologies.
BEJING, CHINA: China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile operator, said it would cut 4G prices by as much as 50 per cent next month. The surprising decision comes amid shareholder concern about profitability and high network investment. At a shareholder meeting in Hong Kong, reported by the Wall Street Journal, China Mobile chairman Xi Guohua tried to allay fears by saying network upgrades and renewed marketing efforts were essential for future growth.
Shipments of smartphones in the China market declined 6.4% sequentially in the first quarter of 2014 as consumers delayed plans for the purchase of new phones or replacements, given that handset vendors have postponed the release of sub-CNY1,000 (US$160) 4G models to the second quarter due to a high inventory levels of 3G smartphones, according to Digitimes Research.
Market research firm Infonetics Researchreleased demographics, capex, opex, revenue and subscriber data on more than 450 global telecom service providers from its 1st edition 2014 Service Provider Capex, Opex, Revenue, and Subscribers Database.
Just a day after China Mobile reported some of its worst results in years, new developments in the telecoms space are showing why the nation’s leading telco will face a rough time for the rest of this year and quite possibly well beyond that. According to the latest media reports, China’s telecoms regulator could issue 4G licenses for the main technology being used by China Mobile’s two rivals as soon as next month, injecting a major shot of competition into the market. The second telecoms news bit comes in broadband, with reports that the nation’s newly formed national cable TV company has formally registered and will start business soon.
China’s shoppers got the newest iPhone and iPad models on their global launch day – for the first time ever – on November 1. But the 3G and 4G iPads were left out of the fun. But today (no, not an April Fool’s) the cellular-enabled versions of the iPad Air and iPad Mini with Retina display have arrived in mainland China.
China Mobile, the largest mobile telecom carrier in China, has set aside a capex budget of CNY225.2 billion (US$36.6 billion) for 2014, increasing 21.8% mainly because its budget of CNY74.3 billion for TD-LTE infrastructure has grown 151%, according to the company. China Mobile plans to add 500,000 TD-LTE base stations around China in 2014 and aims to increase the number of TD-LTE subscribers from 1.34 million currently to 50 million by the end of the year.
“Most of our 1.34 million 4G users are using an iPhone,” said China Mobile chairman Xi Guohua today. He was speaking in the post-earnings conference call after China Mobile (NYSE:CHL; HKG:0941) released its Q4 financials, reports Reuters. China Mobile rolled out 4G on December 18. On that day Mr. Xi said that the telco giant aims to sell 100 million 4G on-contract phones in 2014 thanks to greater subsidies. However, this 1.34 million number shows that target will be tough to hit – perhaps even an impossible task.