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ITU World Telecommunication and Information Society Award 2010
Wang Jianzhou, Chairman and CEO, China Mobile
Wang Jianzhou
photo credit: China Mobile
Wang Jianzhou
Chairman and CEO, China Mobile

Wang Jianzhou is the President of China Mobile Communications Corporation, and the Chairman and CEO of China Mobile Limited. He formerly served as the Director General of the Department of General Planning of the Ministry of Information Industry, and Chairman and President of China United Telecommunications Corporation Limited.

Under Mr Wang’s leadership, China Mobile has attained the largest market capitalization among global telecommunication companies, with a subscriber base of 530 million. The mobile network covers more than 99 per cent of China’s national population. The brand value of China Mobile is estimated at USD 39.2 billion. Mr Wang was chosen as a Business Week Best Leader for 2006, and in 2008 he co-chaired the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

Mr Wang is one of the three winners of the 2010 ITU World Telecommunication and Information Society Award. In this article, he tells us how the company he runs is promoting information and communication technologies to improve people’s lives throughout China and highlights its future outlook.
Photo credit: © AFP

Connecting the world via mobile phones

Company profile

In terms of subscriber base and network coverage, China Mobile Communications Corporation (China Mobile) is the world’s largest mobile operator. Established on 20 April 2000, it is the majority shareholder of China Mobile Limited, a company that went public on the Hong Kong and New York Stock Exchanges in 1997. Currently, China Mobile Limited is the largest telecommunication company by market value. The company has been selected by the Financial Times as one of the “FT Global 500” and by Forbes magazine as one of “The World’s 2000 Biggest Public Companies”.

The China Mobile Group’s business grew steadily in 2009, despite facing multiple challenges. We successfully competed to win higher market share by attracting new customers, while maintaining a low customer churn rate. The Group preserved its existing customer base and kept average minutes of usage per user per month stable. The total customer base at the end of 2009 reached 522 million, of which more than 65 million were net additions. The contribution to total revenue from value-added business increased substantially, including revenue generated from mobile music, which again exceeded USD 1.5 billion. And the Group’s total voice usage volume was around 2919 billion minutes, with average minutes of usage per user per month at 494 minutes and average revenue per user per month at USD 11.

We maintained our world-class network quality and continued to widen our international roaming service coverage. The number of base stations exceeded 460 000, with a population coverage rate of 99 per cent, while the fibre-optic base station access rate surpassed 96 per cent, putting our services in the near vicinity of most office and commercial buildings. We completed the upgrading of our core network to be fully IP-based, hence laying a solid foundation for a full-service network that is geared to future needs and capable of providing integrated services.

Bridging the digital divide

China mobile plays a key role in bridging the digital divide through the construction and operation of a reliable telecommunication network. The company has been instrumental in bringing telecommunication access to more than 77 000 remote rural villages, as well as in launching an array of products and services to promote rural development and the creation of a “New Countryside”.

To ensure that mobile telecommunication is affordable to rural residents, China Mobile promotes several specially-priced local calling packages in rural markets. For example, there are special pricing packages for rural users who primarily use their phones within limited geographic areas, allowing for significant cost savings. This is in line with three major principles that the company applies in rural markets: lower average revenue per user per month; lower average minutes of usage per month; and lower cost.

While upgrading the rural information network, the company has worked alongside national and local governments to promote the spread of information technology. By offering a suite of new products and services, the company has helped to drive development in rural business and trade. This, in turn, has increased financial service capabilities and gone some way towards addressing employment challenges in rural areas.

Reducing emissions and green actions

As the leading operator, China Mobile is strongly committed to conserving energy and reducing emissions. Since initiating its Green Action Plan in 2007, the company has worked to improve network effi- ciency; compared to 2005 levels, energy use per unit of telecommunication traffic has decreased by 49 per cent. By the end of 2009, our “Green Boxes” environmental protection campaign was active in all of our proprietary sales outlets, and more than 5 million mobile phones and accessories had been recycled.

China Mobile cooperates with telecommunication vendors, promotes seven energy-efficiency standards for telecommunication equipment, and has built a green industry value chain. This has led to an overall decrease in the energy and space required for telecommunication equipment in China. This year, the company has already saved 1.8 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity. By 2012, it will reduce energy use by 20 per cent per unit of telecommunication traffic, as compared to 2008 levels — equivalent to a reduction of 11.8 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity during that period.

Beijing Olympics partner

As the mobile telecommunication services partner for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games, China Mobile ensured uninterrupted communications support and services throughout the event. We were with the Olympic Torch Relay team every step of the way, as it ascended the icy heights of Mount Everest, passed through the tropics of Hainan Island, and fi- nally went along the streets of old Beijing to the ultra modern Olympic Stadium, the “Bird’s Nest”. We won praise from industry peers and games organizers alike. As the International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge said, “China Mobile’s innovative technology brought the world a hi-tech Olympics.” Success at the Olympics improved our business and service levels and greatly enhanced our company’s brand value.

To ensure the best service for the Beijing Olympic Games, the company provided:

In March 2010, the Prime Minister launched a high-speed broadband service at Merdeka (Independence) Square in Kuala Lumpur. Recognizing high-speed broadband as a key enabler to change Malaysia from a medium-income to a high-income country, he said: “Definitely, high-speed broadband will make Malaysia a 21st century nation.” The new service is expected to stimulate the economy, enhance competitiveness, reinforce local and foreign investor confidence, enrich creative and innovative minds, and act as a conduit to disseminate information and knowledge to the people.

“It cannot be denied that high-speed broadband will make our lifestyle more sophisticated, making it easier for us to communicate with one another. For example, I have been using this service when I invited 300 of my Facebook friends to have tea with me recently. From 138 000, who have registered as my Facebook friends, I invited 300 of them for a tea reception. I feel this is my way of communicating with the people directly,” the Prime Minister said.

  • Three base stations on the peak of Mount Everest. The highest, at an altitude of 6500 metres, enabled full coverage for the Olympic torch relay via Everest.

  • The fastest photo transmission for the Olympics — with data cards embedded in cameras, photographers could send off their photos directly after taking them.

  • Network coverage with the largest capacity — during the opening ceremony, 260 000 subscribers registered on China Mobile network in and around the Bird’s Nest, generating 220 000 calls per hour. Some five million China Mobile subscribers downloaded the Olympic theme song “You and Me” in the 24 hours after it was performed at the dazzling opening ceremony, breaking the record for the fastest publishing of a single song.

During the Olympics, China Mobile signed roaming agreements with 26 mobile carriers, including Vodafone, AT&T, T-Mobile, NTT DoCoMo, Telstra and Telenor.

Photo credit: © China Mobile
Fireworks illuminate country flags at World Expo 2010 in Shanghai during the opening ceremony

3G development

In 2009, with the second and third phases of network construction completed, 3G network coverage fanned out to include 238 cities across the country, including a 70 per cent coverage rate of prefecturelevel cities. Technological innovations helped solve critical network challenges, enabling the quality of the 3G network to be close to that of our 2G network.

We are participating in the development of TD-SCDMA (TD) technology throughout the entire supply chain, and the Group’s parent company has set up a joint research and development incentive fund to promote TD terminals. The aim of the fund is to attract additional participation and investment from major terminal manufacturers. As a result of such collective efforts, there are already 266 different designs of TD terminals on the market, ranging from high-end series with improved features, to models for the mass market priced below USD 150.

China Mobile has promoted the international standardization of TD-LTE in several international organizations, paving the way for the continuous and healthy development of the TD industry. The group will debut the first TD-LTE showcase network at World Expo 2010 in Shanghai.

Future outlook

The effect of the global financial crisis on the Chinese economy, changes in the competitive landscape, the increasing mobile penetration rate, along with convergence across telecommunications, Internet, and radio and television broadcasting networks, all pose fresh challenges for the future development of China Mobile.

Fortunately, the Chinese government has pursued policies aimed at boosting domestic consumption and strengthening economic growth. The resulting economic development and growing consumer purchasing power will lead to increased demand for telecommunication and information services throughout all sectors, particularly from individuals and families. We also expect to see growth in the corporate sector, driven by accelerating demand from enterprises and industry.

The government attaches great importance to home-grown innovation, which gives us confidence to move ahead with our 3G development. In addition, the flourishing mobile Internet and the “Internet of Things” concept, as well as the integration of mobile payments in the financial system, have all created new revenue stream possibilities and present us with opportunities for future development.

China Mobile believes in growth via making new markets, and advocates for rational competition to preserve industry profitability levels. Based on our strong foundation and integrated capabilities, the Group will focus on growing its telecommunication and information service business, continuing to meet our customers’ needs, and achieving sustained growth. Driven by value creation, we will expand 3G services and promote mobile broadband services to individuals, families and corporate customers. We will move into new business areas in mobile Internet and the “Internet of Things”. At the same time, we will capitalize on our overall influence to promote and participate actively in research on the development of LTE mobile networks.


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