China's State Council to Review National Broadband Strategy in June


China's "Broadband China strategy" research workgroup announced today that it will complete research and drafting work for its broadband implementation plans within the first half of 2012, and will aim to submit its "Broadband China strategy" implementation plan for State Council review in June. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), Ministry of Finance (MoF), Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST), Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC), State Administration of Taxation, and State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) jointly formed the Broadband China strategy research workgroup this February. The group is headed up by Qi Chengyuan, director of the NDRC's Department of High-Tech Industry, and Zhang Feng, director of the MIIT's Communication Development Department. The strategy aims to drive more rapid growth in broadband infrastructure development.

Both China Unicom (NYSE: CHU; 0762.HK; 600050.SH) and China Telecom (NYSE: CHA; 0728.HK) have listed broadband network construction as a major area of investment in 2012 - a break from previous years, in which 3G investment accounted for the overwhelming majority of expenditures. A senior China Unicom executive predicted that 35.5% of the operator's outlay would go for 3G services this year, with another 25.8% of outlays - more than RMB 20 bln - to be invested in broadband services. China Telecom, meanwhile, said that it would increase total investments to RMB 54 bln this year, a 9% increase over 2011's RMB 49.5 bln, with the majority going to broadband and 3G network development.


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