Chinese manufacturers like Xiaomi have been releasing devices like the Redmi 2 with 4G LTE capabilities for some time now. The problem is however, that right now, China’s overall Internet infrastructure just isn’t good enough. Mobile networks now offer 4G networks, but the coverage is spotty and the networks are often very congested. The same can be said for home services, which fair only a little better. The Chinese Government is looking to change all that, as they announce a plan to invest a massive $182 Billion in improving both fiber optic broadband and 4G networks. The plan is that by the end of 2017, the country will have much better access to the Internet and help foster more service-based economies.
China has been ranked 82 in the world for its Internet connection, which doesn’t compare well with neighboring nations like Thailand and Malaysia, who both have better speeds. This year, China will invest 430 Billion Yuan ($69.3 Billion) in Internet services, with a further 700 Billion Yuan ($112.8 Billion) to spent throughout 2016 and 2017. The “build it, and they will come” mentality seems to have come to an end in China, as many residents are already online and spending much of their time shopping online, chatting and even playing online games. Now, the challenge is to improve these services so that they can deliver better speeds and help the economy grow overall.
There’s also the argument surrounding pricing, which in China is very high for even a little data on a 3G contract, let alone a 4G plan. The three major networks in the country have recently come forward and announced that they will be cutting the cost of mobile data and improving speeds. It stands to reason that with better infrastructure, more users will be inclined to sign up for these 4G contracts, knowing that they’ll actually see a benefit from the faster speeds. Prices will no doubt continue to fall as well, and as China quickly becomes a digitally-focused economy it’s no surprise that the Government is willing to dig deep.