The battle for China’s three major communications carriers and operator networks “China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom” to 5G
In China, the “Three major operators” of telecommunication comprise China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom. They are like NTT (Docomo), au (KDDI) and Softbank in Japan. Economy website “Askci” reported the evaluation performance of the three major operators in 2017 and their future forecasts. Let’s take a look at the China’s telegraph community and the 5G era.
Three major operators’ management situations
According to the data of Askci, the latest results are below.
December 2017 (parenthesis is annual sales in 2017) …… China Mobile/China Unicom/ China Telecom
The acquired number of mobile phone customers …… 3.253 million (887.2 million)/2.824 million (284.2 million)/2.12 million (249.9 million)
The acquired number of 4G customers …… 15.616 million (649.5 million)/4.438 million (174.9 million)/4.74 million (182 million)
The acquired number of broadband customers …… 2.548 million (112.7 million)/0.964 million (76.54 million)/0.66 million (133.5 million)
The acquired number of Landline phone customers …… –/0.617 million (59.99 million)/0.53 million (121.8 million)
China Mobile has no landline phone service and reducing burden has become an advantage. The number of landline phone customers hasn’t reached 200 million. This is unexpected for Japanese because the mobile era came after landline phones expanded to the low-income bracket. Each company is analyzed as follows.
China Mobile – China Mobile’s 4G customers are increasing rapidly. The number of customers in December (1,561,600) is three times of November’s. However, the number of broadband customers still has a 20 million difference from China Telecom. When the low prices competition commences in this field, China Mobile would not have the prospects to beat China Unicom nor China Telecom which are well-equipped with facilities. Broadband is indispensable despite improved whole network quality and services. Hence, one of the most important focus points in telecommunication business 2018 for China Mobile would be to improve landline network construction.
China Unicom – The acquired number of 4G customers in December has dropped compared to the previous month and seemed to cease its momentum. The joint launched of “Wang card” with Tencent has proved its power and led to an increase of 50 million customers. However, the weak point of base equipment has not been overcome yet. It has shown that the number of broadband customers acquired in December is decreasing from the previous month. Although the investment of 5G construction would be accompanied with burden, the vulnerability of equipment would not be worthy of evaluation.
China Telecom – China Telecom is relatively stable even if it is involved in the extremely competitive market. Both divisions are continuing its expansion moderately. China Telecom has raised the market share of 4G from 7.1% in 2014 to 18.1% last year. China Telecom is also keen to handle “Six mode through full network” to set available six standards which contributes decreasing of flow rate. China Telecom keeps on the top in development and enhance of services in the broadband field.
The battle to 5G
The practical application of 5G is scheduled for the second half of 2020. The late kickoff would be fatal damage for the three major operators. Here is a brief review of the current state of internet media.
China Mobile – China Mobile is working on two approaches. One is the construction of 500 relay stations with 7 partners in 5 major cities. The other is the construction of 500 relay stations with 20partners in 12 cities. The project is most advanced.
China Unicom – 5G test is in progress in 7 cities of Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, Nanjing and Xiong’an. The bases have already constructed in Shanghai and Shenzhen. However, Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and National Development and Reform Commission encourage China Unicom to increase the test cities.
China Telecom – 5G test has reached the third stage and is about to achieve the goal. Specialists are now on the experiment and inspection by the master plan. China Telecom uses hardware and platform at own expense.
China Mobile is ongoing the development with tied up partners. Meanwhile, China Telecom pursues it at their own expense. China Unicom however seems to be halfway in many things. Either way, the fate of their rise or fall within 3 years lies in the hands of these three major operators. This would be intense and huge magnitude competition.