China has granted official approval for virtual telecom operators after a pilot program that lasted almost five years. China mobile virtual telecom operators
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology issued licenses to 15 private virtual telecom operators to resell internet access, the ministry said in a statement released Monday on its website.
These virtual operators, including domestic technology giants Alibaba and Xiaomi, do not maintain the network infrastructure but rent wholesale services like roaming and text messages from the country’s three major telecom infrastructure operators: China Mobile, China Unicom, and China Telecom.
In a move to further open up the telecom sector, China started to issue pilot licenses in 2013 to private companies to allow them to offer repackaged mobile services to users. A total of 42 Chinese enterprises received pilot licenses to operate virtual telecom businesses.
Granting virtual telecom operators official licenses is aimed at encouraging mobile telecom business innovation and improving the sector’s overall service quality, the statement said. China mobile virtual telecom operators
Xiaomi is one of those companies and introduced the new Mi Mobile service in China. The company thus marks its entry into an all-new segment where it will compete against other China-based carriers.
The new MVNO (or mobile virtual network operator) service from Xiaomi will offer consumers voice and data services and utilizing China Unicom or China Telecom networks.Under Xiaomi Mi Mobile’s pay-as-you-go plan, consumers will be charged CNY 0.10 (approximately Rs. 1.10) per voice minute, SMS, and 1MB of data. The plan supports China Unicom’s 2G, 3G, and 4G networks. It will be available for sale via the company’s online store (Mi.com) starting Wednesday.
Under the second scheme, consumers will get 3GB data bundle for CNY 59 (approximately Rs. 610) per month. Under this offer, consumers will have to pay the equivalent to CNY 0.02/MB (approximately Rs. 0.30) for data and CNY 0.10 (approximately Rs. 1) per voice minute, SMS, or 1 MB of data (after exceeding 3GB data cap). It supports China Telecom 2G, 3G, and 4G networks.
The Mi Mobile SIM cards will be available as triple-cut SIM cards, which means they can instantly be usable with phones supporting mini, micro, or nano SIM cards.