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Cellphone charges for domestic long-distance calls, roaming to be canceled

Updated: Mar 7,2017 10:13 AM

On March 5, Premier Li Keqiang announced that more efforts will be made to speed up telecom network access and reduce costs. This year, the years-long practice of charging for domestic roaming and long-distance calls will be officially canceled.

At a policy briefing of the State Council Information Office on March 6, China’s top three telecom companies announced that they will cancel charges on domestic long-distance cellphone calls and roaming starting on Oct 1 this year.

China Mobile said the company will continue to build a high-quality 4G network to enhance users’ experience, while speeding up network access with optical fibers applied in all new broadband connections.

The operator will cut the cost of exclusive lines for enterprises to support their business startup innovation drive, and reduce roaming charges on voice calls with 64 nations covered by the Belt and Road Initiative to 0.99 yuan per minute.

China Unicom said it will double the bandwidth of fixed broadband, increase network capacity from 100MB to 200MB in some large and medium-sized cities, and double the speed of its 4G network.

In addition, China Unicom will also stop the domestic long-distance and roaming charges, and further reduce international calling fees and roaming charges.

Meanwhile, the company will also offer more benefits to teenagers, students and users with large data consumption.

China Telecom announced it will invest 100 billion yuan more to create a smart high-speed network.

By the end of the year, optical network is expected to cover all regions at and above the township level in southern China, said China Telecom.

It also plans to reduce the cost of internet access for small- and medium-sized enterprises to help promote the country’s mass entrepreneurship and innovation initiative.

Also, rates for international calls, and China’s Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions and Taiwan, will be reduced, said the company. Fees for international calls to North America, Europe, Southeast Asia and the countries along the Belt and Road will also be cut this year.

Meanwhile, it will continue to promote mobile phones that fit all kinds of networks, to benefit more users.

China Telecom will also organize training for farmers and promote poverty alleviation through Internet of Things and other new technologies.