China Mobile, the country's leading mobile carrier, has launched a new discounted service in Chongqing to compete with the citywide wireless service currently being offered by its rival, China Telecom.
The new service uses China Mobile's GSM network but offers limited features. The operator charges mobile users between Yn0.20 and Yn0.30 per minute, well below China's official mobile tariff of Yn0.40 per minute. Even so, this is still more expensive than China Telecom's own city-wide wireless service, called Xiaolingtong. This unofficial mobile service does not require expensive infrastructure to function but piggybacks on local fixed-line networks. Unlike China Mobile and China Unicom, China Telecom does not have a national mobile licence.
Meanwhile, China Telecom has launched another new service that intensifies its competition with the two listed mobile operators. It is giving mobile phone users the option to switch incoming calls made to their cellphones to fixed lines in their home or office. This means they can avoid paying the fee normally charged to their mobile account for receiving a call.