updated 11:28 am EST, Thu February 28, 2013
Fiber-to-the-home to reach 35M more households by Q4 2013
The Chinese government hopes to cover more than 70-percent of Internet users in the country with a 4M broadband service by the end of 2013. The announcement from Miao Wei, a minister working for China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) is part of an initiative to increase the number of households with fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) options by over 35 million.
In the year 2012, MIIT claims that the number of FTTH households rose by 49 percent to over 94 million, the extra households planned for this year would in theory push it close to 130 million households. The plan for 2013 also includes an extra 1.3 million wireless hotspots and around 180,000 new 3G masts, along with providing broadband to primary and secondary schools in 5000 poverty-stricken rural areas.
The appetite for Internet access in China is still growing and shows no signs of slowing down. China Mobile revealed it sold over 60 million 3G-capable devices during 2012, and aims to double the number by the end of 2013.
China Mobile is also intending to test TD-LTE services throughout 2013 with a view to rolling it out to customers during 2014 or 2015. The China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) estimates that 51 million Chinese citizens joined the Internet in 2012, increasing the online population in the country by 10 percent. The 564 million Internet users represents 42.1 percent of the Chinese population, 320 million of which opt to go online via mobile phones and portable devices.