• Pedestrians use their smartphones while walking past a China Mobile Ltd. store in Hong Kong, China.

Pedestrians use their smartphones while walking past a China Mobile Ltd. store in Hong Kong, China. (Photo : Getty Images)

China Mobile Communications Corporation, a Chinese state-owned telecommunication company that provides mobile voice and multimedia services through its nationwide mobile telecommunications network, aims to build 1.75 billion online connections by 2020.

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"China will have at least 10 billion Internet-enabled connections by 2020, accounting for one-fifth of global connections. We will step up efforts to expand our presence in the connected car sector, as part of our efforts to double the number of connections we had in 2015," Shang Bing, the chairman of China Mobile, said.

China mobile has connected approximately 880 million devices online, 770 million units of which were smartphones. They are working hard to put home appliances, vehicles and other items online. The company said that Internet-connected automobiles will become one of the next key devices for development.

On Dec. 20, the firm released technical specifications of their Internet-of-Things platform. This is a platform wherein anyone with an idea of how to convert physical devices to smart devices by interconnecting them through networks can build or test his or her product.

Shang said: "We will not only build connections but also open our platforms to other firms so that we can have an ecosystem."

The company also aims to build the world's largest 4G network within three years, and plans to ramp up resources to develop 5G networks after that. Plans to launch a trial operation of their 5G network are set in 2018, and plans to commercialize it will be done in 2020.

Xiang Ligang, founder of cctime, said: "5G will no longer be a simple technology or a system. Instead, it is a platform in which the telecom industry needs to be deeply linked with other sectors. 5G will be a test for China Mobile to see whether it can efficiently cooperate with a large number of firms."

"China Mobile's huge 4G presence and its cutting-edge 5G research will give the company an edge in capitalizing on the Internet of Things," said Fu Liang, a telecom analyst.