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Roaming fees to be scrapped thanks to Premier’s continuous efforts

Updated: Mar 6,2017 7:15 PM

China will scrap domestic long-distance and roaming charges, announced Premier Li Keqiang as he delivered the Government Work Report on March 5.

Premier Li, who has repeatedly called for faster internet speed and cheaper prices in the past two years, again acknowledged that “in the age of internet, faster and more cost-effective information networks are crucial to the development of every sector” and pledged to increase broadband and lower rates for other internet services.

At the State Council executive meeting on May 13, 2015, Premier Li called on telecommunication companies to cut prices for their internet services and improve internet speed and pointed out that it is not the government’s decision, but the market’s decision, to lower the fees of internet services.

“About 100 million Chinese traveled abroad last year, but the growth in the use of international roaming services is declining — because the services are too expensive,” Premier Li said.

He had earlier said at the State Council executive meeting on Feb 22, 2017, that China ranks first in the number of mobile and internet users in the world, and smart phones and internet have become vital to daily life, even in rural areas.

“So enhanced efforts to increase speed and lower costs will improve people’s livelihood, which is our ultimate goal for economic development,” the Premier said.

Telecom companies should improve their competitiveness on a global scale through upgrading the quality of internet service, with an aim to expand market share and impose pressure on other telecom companies to further upgrade their technologies, said the Premier at the meeting.