Mobile Internet in China 2nd Slowest Worldwide

The GSM Association reports that mobile internet in China is the second slowest in the world for the years 2010 and 2011. This is not likely to change until 2015, which might prove to be a challenge for this nation of 900 million mobile phone users.

A young boy plays with his father's mobile phone in this Beijing file photo. China already has the world's biggest mobile phone population at almost 1 billion, but has the second slowest mobile internet speeds for 2010 and 2011. (AP Photo/Greg Baker, File)

A report by the GSM Association says that China’s average mobile internet speed was at 50 kbps, only higher than India’s 19 kbps, cites Shanghai Daily.

In comparison, Japan’s and South Korea’s mobile broadband speeds average 1.4 Mbps, which is 28 times higher than speeds in China.

According to the analysis, only about 14% of Chinese mobile users — about 128 million — access the internet via 3G, which is seen to increase to 300 million by end 2012. Chinese carriers are already working on a 4G rollout, although it will take time to implement and for users to make the move to 4G-capable handsets. By 2015, the average broadband speed in China is forecast to hit 1.4 Mbps, although Japan’s and Korea’s speeds would again long-overtaken China by then, by a factor of five.

China has the world’s biggest mobile population, but only a small portion uses mobile broadband. Most still connect using 2G speeds — GPRS, which is at about 115 Kbps — and many still use feature-phones with basic calling and texting capabilities.