BEIJING, July 26 (Xinhua) -- Beijing Mobile, a provincial-level branch of China's largest telecom operator China Mobile, sharply increased data streams for its 4G packages on Saturday without increasing prices.
This is the third time the company has increased data allowances in an attempt to attract more 4G subscribers.
Following the latest upgrade, the most generous package offers 3 GB of data for a 188-yuan (30 U.S. dollars) monthly package, up from 500 MB.
The most modest package increased from 200 MB to 500 MB for 58 yuan (9.3 U.S. dollars) per month.
China's 4G users topped 13.97 million by the end of June, seven months after 4G licenses were issued to China's big three telecom operators, China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom.
A fierce competition for customers is under way among the operators, led by China Mobile with 760 million customers. China Unicom has 295 million users and China Telecom has 180 million.
China Mobile, the world's largest mobile services provider by network scale and subscriber base, has lagged behind in the 3G competition. It has ambitiously rolled out the world's biggest 4G network, with plans to expand its 4G network to at least 340 cities by the end of 2014.
As of the end of June, China Mobile had more than 10 million 4G users in more than 300 cities, said the company's vice president, Li Zhengmao, earlier this month.
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) issued LTE FDD licenses to China Telecom and China Unicom in June.
China Telecom and China Unicom are experimenting with mixed-mode networks in 16 cities. The two operators have adopted both variants of the LTE (Long Term Evolution) standard, TD-LTE and LTE FDD, while China Mobile currently follows the TD-LTE standard, which it played a main role in developing. FDD is more widely used throughout the world.
Wen Ku, director of the MIIT's communication development department, believes that building integrated FDD/TDD networks will become a trend in China's telecom industry.
Figures from the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) show that China's netizen population reached 632 million by the end of June, and mobile Internet users totaled 527 million. This year marks the first for Chinese netizens to use mobile phones (83.4 percent) more often than traditional PCs (80.9 percent).