China cellcos to drop domestic roaming fees in October

REUTERS/Edgar Su/Files

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s three state-owned telecommunications companies – China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom – plan to eliminate domestic roaming fees and offer pricing incentives to small and mid-sized enterprises, to encourage corporate customers to adopt network technology such as cloud computing.

All three operators will end inter-province roaming fees by October, the chairmen of the three firms told reporters in Beijing on Monday.

The three will also have discount pricing schemes for businesses, the chairmen said without elaborating.

The comments come as the government works to lower telecom fees to spur consumer spending, cut corporate operating expenses, and encourage enterprises to adopt network technology – all under a broader policy of increasing efficiency and capacity in traditional industries.

The government has also encouraged price competition in the telecom sector by approving applications from private enterprises seeking to market and sell telecom services. The government wants to open the telecom industry to private investment and give “free rein to telecommunications companies in the development of the internet,” according to a notice issued by the CPC Central Committee and the State Council in January.

The Ministry of Information Industry and Technology on Monday said it has approved applications to provide broadband internet services from 198 private enterprises under a pilot project. The number adds to approvals for 42 enterprises to resell mobile network services starting from 2013.

(Reporting by Cate Cadell; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

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