China Mobile has announced plans to invest CNY 70 billion ($10.2 billion) to expand its 2.5G rural network over the next three years.
The company plans to expand into more than 10,000 villages every year and build 100,000 rural information service stations by 2011. In the last five years it has spent CNY 19.5 billion ($2.9 billion) on the network, which currently reaches 60,000 villages.
In January the company announced plans to invest CNY 58.8 billion ($8.6 billion) to expand its third-generation mobile network, comprising 60,000 base stations covering 238 cities in China.
Li Zhengmao, vice president at China Mobile, said: The investment is part of China’s drive to improve the communications infrastructure of its more than 5 million villages. Last year, about 60% of our new mobile phone users were from the rural areas.
Last month the company reported a 30% increase in net profit to CNY 113 billion ($16.6 billion) for the year 2008 on revenue up 15.5% at CNY 412 billion ($60.4 billion).