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China targets 150m 3G users by 2011
Published on: 2010-04-09
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BEIJING - China plans to have 150 million 3G mobile telecommunication users by 2011 while investment in 3G development will hit 400 billion yuan ($58.6 billion), the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said in a statement on its Web site Thursday.

The number of 3G base stations will exceed 400,000 by 2011 and cover all cities above prefecture level, most counties and towns, main highways, and tourist spots, according to the statement.

The ministry said 3G development plays an important role in promoting self-innovation and helps expand domestic demand and ensures economic growth and employment.

The Chinese government issued the long-awaited 3G licenses last year to the country's three mobile operators - China Mobile, China's biggest mobile operator, China Telecom and China Unicom.

More than 160 billion yuan has been pooled for 3G network construction so far, the statement said.

The number of 3G users in China had risen to 16.06 million by February, the MITT said in March.

China will also step up optical fiber network construction, according to a separate statement published on the MIIT website.

Investment will top 150 billion yuan in three years and new broadband users during the period will number 50 million, the statement said.

China's broadband users totalled 346 million in 2009, accounting for 90.1 percent of all Internet users in the country, according to data from the China Internet Network Information Center.

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