Feeds

China Mobile to quit WiFi rollout

4.3 million hotspots not making money

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

After spending 17 billion yuan on WiFi hotspots – more than $US2.75 billion at the current exchange rate – China Mobile has quit on the rollout and will redirect its spend to LTE.

The reason for the decision, reported in Sohu IT (original in Chinese, here), is simple: the hotspots don't make money. Sohu IT says the hotspots are good at generating traffic, but hopeless at generating income, with an raw ARPU of just 15 yuan ($US2.58) per month .

As LightReading's Robert Clark states in this blog post, that return isn't enough to generate ROI, even with the anticipated network optimisation benefits (from mobile-to-WiFi offload).

“In light of the poor returns from Wi-Fi, China Mobile is going all-out for TD-LTE and has forecast it will have rolled out 500,000 base stations in 300 cities by year-end,” Clark writes.

The Sohu IT report says that in 2013, WLAN traffic accounted for nearly 74 per cent of wireless Internet traffic growth, but contributed less than 2.6 per cent of wireless data revenue. The report notes that the backhaul build for the WiFi network has also helped give China Mobile's base station rollout a kick along, so not all the investment was wasted.

There's no word on the fate of the 4.3 million hotspots installed under the China Mobile program. ®

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
Orange spent weekend spamming customers with TXTs
Zero, not infinity, is the Magic Number customers want
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
NBN Co execs: No FTTN product until 2015
Faster? Not yet. Cheaper? No data
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.