China Mobile has announced that it will invest CHY13 billion (USD2.01 billion) in multiple developments in Shanghai by 2013. The cellco plans to trial 4G services, expand the capacity of its 2G network and increase the footprint of its Wi-Fi hotspots. Trial networks with Time Division Long Term Evolution (TD-LTE) technology will be established in the Zhangjiang High-Tech Park, the People’s Square, Lujiazui, and Hengshan Road, and will feature theoretical download speeds of up to 100Mbps. China Mobile’s wholly owned subsidiary Shanghai Mobile plans to cover 80% of downtown Shanghai with Wi-Fi hotspots by the end of 2013, estimating that around 90,000 will be needed, compared to the 5,000 currently deployed. In addition, the operator plans to rollout 6,000 WLAN hotspots based on 802.11n technology by the end of the year. To resolve the bottleneck in the existing network, the city’s 2G network will see a complete overhaul with 30% of the equipment on the cellco’s 11,000 sites replaced by the end of the year.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, at the end of June 2011 China Mobile was the nation’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, with three quarters of the market. It had less strength in the data sector though accounting for 43.51% of the country’s 80 million 3G customers.