China's three telecom operators have all signalled plans to drive their LTE high-speed coverage throughout the country over the coming months, as they look to play catch-up on the technology with other world regions.
As Reuters reports, the expansion follows last year's encouraging mobile data usage figures, which climbed by nearly 50%, although overall usage remains fairly modest by global standards.
Average monthly data usage on all types of mobile devices, including smartphones, exceeded 200 megabytes (MB) per user for the first time last year, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology revealed last week.
To put that into perspective, it equates to downloading 50 songs from the Internet, but is less than a quarter of the 819MB per smartphone recorded as the global monthly average in 2014, Cisco data shows.
However, China Mobile, the country's biggest mobile carrier, has been buoyed by an increasing number of LTE subscribers in the last 12 months, with more than 90 million having signed up.
The operator, along with China Telecom and China Unicom, is expected to make a play for rural customers, demonstrating its value in light of increasing online content and technology becoming more affordable.
Coverage and signal reliability remain an issue, but the three carriers are thought to be encouraged by research from Counterpoint which predicts that sales of LTE-capable devices in China are to set to more than treble to 405.9 million units, compared with last year.
It's not a similar story for all countries across the Asia region, however – in Indonesia and India, for example, LTE has yet to catch on.