Advertisers take note: China is going high tech.

China’s three mobile operators have received formal permission to roll out their 4G networks. This is likely very good news for consumers and internet companies, maybe for equipment vendors, and probably not for the operators. Higher bandwidth speeds (assuming network congestion does not negate the potential benefits) should finally make mobile video services widely available, possibly creating a revenue source for content providers, but certainly better services for consumers.

The new licences are for the TD-LTE (Long Term Evolution) networks. This is different to the FDD-LTE standard used to provide 4G data connections in many other parts of the world. That means most smartphone owners will not be able to switch between 4G networks when travelling in and out of the country. Yet China Mobile’s effort is likely to lure more smartphone makers, telecom carriers and telecom-equipment suppliers to support the standard.

This means new opportunities for advertisers to connect in the way of apps, mobile platforms and video content.

China Mobile are already putting up posters in stores celebrating the speed of the coming 4G LTE network.

China Mobile are already putting up posters in stores celebrating the speed of the coming 4G LTE network.

And to add to the excitement, last week it came out that China Mobile and Apple had finally penned a deal to bring the iPhone to China’s largest mobile network, and now the Wall Street Journal reports that iPhone 5s pre-order sales begin this Thursday (Dec 12, 2013), with China Mobile’s new 4G services going live on Dec. 18. Until now, China Mobile subscribers have not been able to use Apple’s iPhone, because the firm’s 3G technology was not compatible with the Apple handsets.

China Mobile represents a massive potential new customer base for Apple, as it has a ridiculous 759.3 million users on its network. Only 23 percent of those are on 3G, however, according to Forbes, and a smaller percentage will be eager to upgrade to 4G and invest in an iPhone. Still, analyst predictions for how many additional iPhones Apple could sell in 2014 with China Mobile on board seem to begin at 10 million, and extend up to nearly 40 million.

You can read more about these developments from the Wall Street Journal here or TechCrunch here.

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