Telecom & Wireless

China Mobile Cancels Long Distance Roaming Packages

Whether deep in a forest or high in the mountains, just about any point in China is accessible my mobile phone, and China Mobile is now planning to cancel long distance roaming fees for adventurous consumers who trek far from home.

China Mobile's chief executive officer Li Yue revealed at the company's semi-annual performance conference that the company stopped sales of new packages that include long distance roaming fees in July 2016 and they are expected to cancel the sales of all long-distance roaming packages at the end of 2016. China Mobile will instead gradually promote nationwide unified packages.

Li pointed out that China Mobile's voice services currently account for 37% of the total revenue of the company. Therefore, the cancellation of long distance roaming fee has certain risks. In cancelling the roaming fee in accordance with a government requirement, the group hopes to minimize the risks in one or two years. At the same time, Li said that cancelling roaming packages can simplify its business, which is good for improving competitiveness and making its plans understandable to Chinese consumers.

According to China Mobile's semi-annual results, the company's data revenue exceeded traditional business revenue for the first time and it became the largest income source for China Mobile. During the first half of 2016, China Mobile's mobile Internet data traffic increased by 133.9% year-on-year; and its mobile Internet business revenue increased by 39.7% year-on-year.

In July 2016, China Telecom's chairman Yang Jie also said that the company would gradually cancel long distance roaming fees in 2016 and promote full data charging, which means calls and texts will be converted into data for unified charging.

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