Q&A with Dr. Li Feng, chairman and CEO of China Mobile International
Q. What have been the highlights and key developments for China Mobile in the region in 2016?
China Mobile maintains a leading position in mainland China, reaching 4G to 497 million subscribers out of 845 million total subscribers. In 2016, China Mobile International (CMI) put resources and effort in supporting “The Belt & Road” to build a high-speed information channel connecting Europe and Asia in order to stimulate regional economic development.
The Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) and South East Asia Region (SEA) are strategically important regions for CMI to develop, developing alongside “The Belt & Road.”
CMI has rich network capacity in GMS/SEA, providing high quality, availability and short latency connectivity services between China and GMS/SEA.
We have deployed points of presence (PoPs) in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and we plan to build a new one in Vietnam, connecting with different submarine/terrestrial cables.
For the submarine cable, CMI invested in the APG and SJC cable landings along the major GMS/SEA countries, including: Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia. APG has newly launched and its Hong Kong landing station is located in CMI’s data centre – GNC. Together with the soon-to-be-launched SEA-ME-WE-5, we can extend the connection to Europe and the Americas.
CMI has a border station between China and Vietnam and plans to build China-Myanmar and China-Laos stations. With these border stations and our partners’ terrestrial cables, the network can be extended to all GMS/SEA countries, including: Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia and Thailand.
CMI is also planning to build a data centre and provide IDC services in Singapore, Thailand and other GMS/SEA countries.
Our operation in GMS and SEA is supported by offices and representatives in Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines. To date, CMI has established overseas offices in 14 countries around the world.
Q. What are the main challenges of operating in the Asian market and how are you looking to tackle those challenges over the next period?
The main challenge is how to respond to changes of the internet of things (IoT) era and the industry chain reshape. As the market moves towards end-to-end digital service, as an operator we have to change our operating model and integrate the internet with a range of traditional businesses to create new opportunities. We believe mobile internet and industrial IoT, in particular the IDC and cloud computing business, have enormous potential in the Asian market, both for now and in the future.
Another challenge we face is how to leverage our international service teams to ensure customer satisfaction and successful end-to-end delivery in the Asia-Pacific region despite different cultures, service standards and customer requirements. With a vision to provide innovative, advanced digital services to our customers, we are now teaming up cross-regional professionals so that we can quickly respond to the many and changing customer requirements. We are dedicated to providing a high standard of customer satisfaction. This is not just about the service quality, but also about how we can meet customer demands in complicated customer scenarios, such as delivering low latency networks for the financial services industry, high capacity interconnection to big service providers.
Q. What are your strategic priorities as well as expansion plans for the region in 2017?
In 2017, our vision is to become a global operator in innovative digital service. We will boost our connectivity scale, optimise connectivity service and strengthen connectivity to fully implement our Big Connectivity Strategy. We plan to build more than 100 PoPs by the end of 2017, covering Asia- Pacific, Europe and North America. The transmission bandwidth will be over 25T in 2017. Diversified and upgraded enterprise solutions, such as cloud and CDN, will be launched to help enterprises to grow in this new digital world.
The Hand-in-Hand Programme, which China Mobile initiated for strategic partnership, has brought together 22 international operators and service providers so far. They join hands to research and co-develop new business opportunities in innovation and the internet of everything. Through cross-industry collaboration, we believe we can transform the digital life of end users.
Q. What does China Mobile hope to achieve by attending Capacity Asia 2016?
Capacity Asia is one of the largest telecom conferences which gathers the professionals of this industry to share and exchange the information. We expect to have in-depth conversations with professionals about the challenges and solutions of this fast-changing market in this new digital world.