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China Mobile is the biggest mobile network operator (MNO) in the world. It is also aggressively advancing its Internet of Things (IoT) strategy. This report examines China Mobile's current IoT technology and commercial strategy, and discusses its partnerships, strengths and weaknesses, and forward plans.


  • China Mobile's IoT strategy is centered on increasing IoT connections and then leveraging the resultant scale to grow related IoT service revenues.
  • To achieve fast growth in IoT connections, the MNO earmarked RMB2bn ($318m) to drive down IoT module cost, especially NB-IoT modules. It is also investing in developing its own IoT platforms to accelerate enterprises' adoption of IoT. But the MNO has so far steered away from building its own significant in-house IoT application development capabilities.
  • China Mobile is focused mainly on smart cities and the energy, utilities, and resources verticals, but it has ambitions in the automotive, manufacturing and industry 4.0, and consumer electronics verticals. The MNO has so far found traction in smart parking, smart water services, and fleet management; its platform powers bicycle-sharing firm Mobike's global fleet.

Features and Benefits

  • Analyze China Mobile's commercial and technology strategies for IoT.
  • Identify China Mobile's partnerships and focus verticals.

Key questions answered

  • Where does IoT fit into China Mobile's organization?
  • What is China Mobile's IoT technology strategy?

Table of contents


  • Catalyst
  • Key messages
  • Ovum view


  • Recommendations for China Mobile
  • Recommendations for other market players

Key IoT KPIs, organization, and market approach

  • Key IoT KPIs
  • Where IoT fits into China Mobile's organization
  • IoT market approach

IoT technology strategy

  • Connectivity
  • Beyond connectivity

Verticals and customers

  • Vertical focus
  • IoT projects


  • Methodology
  • Further reading
  • Author

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