China Mobile, the world’s largest cellco by subscribers, is aiming to increase its 4G customer base to 500 million by the end of 2016, news portal C114 quotes China Mobile Vice President Li Huidi as saying. The operator is also looking to increase its handset sales next year to 330 million, with 100 million of those to support voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) and carrier aggregation (CA). In order to achieve these targets, China Mobile will focus on five key areas, the official explained. Firstly, the cellco will continue to promote multi-mode and multi-band development, with plans to launch five-mode, 13-band devices. It will accelerate the commercialisation of VoLTE and CA, introducing its own-branded CNY1,000 (USD155)-level handsets supporting the technologies. China Mobile will also continue to encourage subscribers to migrate to 4G services, alongside the promotion of innovation in devices (including non-handset devices). Finally, the operator will improve user experiences and protect their interests.
In a related announcement, the official also noted that China Mobile has completed the installation of more than one million 4G base stations and plans to roll out a further 300,000 in 2016.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, China Mobile had a total of 247.62 million LTE users at the end of September 2015 (up from 189.66 million in June 2015), making it the largest 4G provider in the world by a substantial margin. At that date, it claimed more LTE customers than the next five largest 4G providers combined – Verizon Wireless (80.00 million), AT&T Mobility (50.75 million), T-Mobile US (47.5 million), NTT DOCOMO (34.50 million) and China Telecom (29.77 million).