4G? We don’t need no stinkin’ 4G! Despite the impressive development of China Mobile’s superfast 4G TD-LTE network, 3G remains the fastest commercially available mobile connection in China. Moreover, China’s 3G network continues to grow with impressive speed. Case in point: China Unicom added more than three million new 3G subscribers in August alone, bringing the company to a total of more than 66 million 3G users.
Unicom also picked up some new 2G users in August, but with just 336,000 new accounts, it’s clear that new 3G subscribers are growing much faster than new 2G subscribers. 3G still has a long way to go, though; China Unicom has more than 162 million 2G-only subscribers. This number is part of the reason China’s government is delaying the release of a 4G network; it wants to see 3G networks more widely adopted first.
Unicom also offers internet service; and unsurprisingly dial-up connections dropped in August by 167,000 accounts, while broadband accounts jumped 647,000. Here too, though, there is still a ways to go. In total Unicom still has more than 92 million dial-up users and just 62 million broadband users.