Beijing Mobile, part of China's largest mobile phone operator, plans to dramatically slash its mobile call fees in early February with a monthly package based on a one-way billing scheme.
The caller-pays scheme, in which incoming calls are free for the person who receives the call, has been welcomed by China Mobile and China Unicom subscribers in pilot areas in Guangdong, Shanghai and Tianjin, allowing the companies to reinforce their position in the market.
That has put the pressure on fixed-line operators China Telecom and China Netcom to lower costs and improve services, China Securities News reported Tuesday.
The best way to boost also-rans China Telecom and China Netcom is to grant them 3G licenses, allowing them to get into the mobile phone business and compete with rivals on an equal footing, the newspaper quoted an unnamed analyst as saying.
This fits with government efforts to establish a new balance of power among the nation's major telecom players, the analyst said.
The newspaper said China Telecom is keen to get into the mobile phone sector.
Latest figures show that there were nearly 70 million new mobile phone subscribers in China last year, but only 17 million new fixed-line phones.
(Xinhua News Agency January 31, 2007)