20 January 2019

Taxi drivers may be China Mobile’s first big 4G break

The mainland’s upwardly mobile are obvious targets for China Mobile’s (00941.HK) faster 4G phone network offerings, with TD-LTE-enabled versions of Apple’s slick iPhones available since mid-January. But the telecom giant could do well to focus on another major market segment that’s constantly on the move: taxi drivers.

“I am urgently seeking a 4G phone,” one Beijing taxi driver told the China Securities Journal. The cabbie is a big user of the popular mobile phone taxi apps Didi Dache {嘀嘀打车} and Kuaidi Dache {快的打车}, which let customers quickly book a taxi by inputting their location and destination. Many Beijing taxi drivers have more than one phone just to make the most of these services.

“To win good business, we need a faster phone network,” the driver said. 

Although there are still gaps in China Mobile’s 4G national coverage, taxi drivers in central Beijing consider it good enough and generally better than the 3G alternatives. Quality is also expected to keep improving as the company ramps up its signal infrastructure.

China Mobile secured its 4G license last month and watchers of the company keenly await subscriber numbers to gauge the service’s impact. Cultivating more commercial applications could be crucial to growth of the new business.

– Contact the writer at [email protected]



EJ Insight writer

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