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China Unicom to cut international roaming fees by up to 97 percent

(People's Daily Online)    15:23, August 18, 2018

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China Unicom, China's second largest telecom operator, recently announced on its official website that it will cut international roaming fees by up to 97 percent beginning Aug. 10, Securities Daily reported.

According to the announcement, the operator will reduce its international roaming fees for voice calls by an average of 44 percent across 18 countries and regions such as Canada, Morocco, Mozambique and Botswana. By doing so, the fees for voice calls in 215 countries and regions will be less than 3 yuan (about $0.44) per minute.

Additionally, international data roaming fees will be cut by an average of 46 percent, 97 percent at most, in 143 countries and regions including Italy, Belgium, Norway, Austria, Denmark, Sri Lanka, India and Turkey.

Between 80 to 90 percent of fees charged through international communication services are paid to overseas telecom operators, said Fu Liang, an independent telecom analyst, adding that Unicom's move to slash fees demonstrates its strengthened cooperation with overseas operators and the high coverage of China's 4G network.

A consumer noted that it was inconvenient that he had to buy a local sim card every time he went abroad, as he would lose contact with friends and family for extended periods, adding that he would prefer to use his Chinese phone number if the international roaming fees were reasonable.

Although the move is likely to impact Unicom's international roaming service revenue short term, in the long run it will help Unicom win more customers and become more competitive, economist Song Qinghui noted.

In addition to Unicom, China's two other major telecom carriers, China Mobile and China Telecom, have already introduced policies to reduce their international roaming fees while improving their network speed.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Du Mingming, Bianji)

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