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Telecom income may expand 8%

By Zhu Shenshen (Shanghai Daily)

08:32, December 28, 2012

REVENUE in China's telecommunications industry this year may grow 8 percent annually, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said yesterday.

The revenue's annual growth rate is lower than the 11 percent seen in the first 11 months of this year because of a fall in the telecom fee and challenges from new mobile Internet services like Weixin, which eats into the income of short messages and voice services provided by telecom operators, industry insiders said.

The industry's revenue growth rate is expected to remain at 8 percent in 2013.

Tencent's Weixin, a social application with both voice and text message functions, has attracted 300 million users in China, challenging traditional giants like China Mobile and China Unicom.

The revenue of mobile Internet, which includes popular applications like Weixin and Sina Weibo, may hit 150 billion yuan (US$24.2 billion) in 2012 and 220 billion yuan in 2013, according to Beijing-based Analysys International.

Meanwhile, the country's "Broadband China" strategy will be developed further to improve broadband services nationwide, according to Zhang Feng, who is in charge of the telecom industry under the ministry.

The "Broadband China" project will improve the average broadband bandwidth capacity in urban regions to 20 megabytes per second by 2015, five to 10 times faster than the current level.

Other plans in 2013 include reforming the telecom fee, further promoting the Three Network Convergence which refers to mobile, computer and TV networks, and allowing private investment in the industry, Zhang said, without elaborating.

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