China Telecom has joined China’s 3G tariff battle, with Beijing Telecom launching new data plans yesterday.
For 59 yuan ($8.64) a month, Beijing Telecom is offering 500 MB of data to CDMA customers, with domestic calls costing 0.2 yuan per minute.
Last week, W-CDMA player China Unicom said it will offer 3G packages for as as little as 36 yuan for 300MB of data and 50 minutes of voice calls a month from February 1.
Moreover, China Mobile’s TD-SCDMA data plans also remain cheaper than Beijing Telecom’s cut rate plans.
“China Telecom’s data plans are 59/99/139 yuan per month with bundled data of 0.5/1/2 GB, while China Mobile’s data plans are 50/100/200 yuan per month with bundled data of 0.5/2/5 GB,” CLSA’s China mobile analyst Elinor Leung told telecomasia.net.
“Given limited capacity, China Telecom will still likely have to be more careful on its data plans [than China Mobile].”
In December, China Telecom registered 4.81 million 3G customers, with China Mobile’s TD-SCDMA subs coming in at 5.51 million. Unicom’s three-month-old 3G service added 920,000 new users in December, taking its WCDMA subs count to 2.74 million.
Leung says Unicom’s 3G rate cut last week was “well expected.”
“If Unicom wants to maintain its 1 million new subs target per month, it needed to be more aggressive on pricing,” she said.
In related news, Guangdong Telecom has upgraded its network to 1xEV-DO Revision B at 2.1 Ghz, according to vendor Huawei. Beijing Telecom has also upgraded its EV-DO network to Rev. B.