China to stop charging domestic roaming fees from October

China's big three mobile operators have revealed plans to stop charging domestic roaming fees by October.

China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom have announced they will end the practice of charging inter-province roaming voice and data fees, Reuters reported.

The operators are also planning to introduce discount pricing for small and midsize businesses in a bid to encourage corporate customers to adopt more network technologies such as cloud computing.

The operators are responding to pressure from the government to reduce the price of telecoms services to spur consumer spending and encourage greater adoption of network technologies.

China has also been seeking to encourage price competition in the mobile sector, and opened up the market to MVNOs in 2013.

These efforts were also extended to the fixed broadband market in 2014.  According to the Reuters report, the government recently announced it has approved applications from 198 private enterprises seeking to provide broadband services under a pilot project.

China's move to abolish domestic roaming will take the industry one step closer to meeting current GSMA chairman and Bharti Airtel founder Sunil Bharti Mittal's recent call and doing away with roaming altogether – including international roaming.



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