China Telecom (NYSE: CHA; 0728.HK) local subsidiary Beijing Telecom has cancelled subsidies on 3G data cards; now customers must pay RMB 360 for the purchase of an e-Surfing 3G data card. Previously, Beijing Telecom offered a free 3G data card to customers that prepay for six months or one year of service. According to Beijing Telecom's 10000 customer service hotline, the subsidy ended on February 1. Consumers that purchase a 3G data card between February 1 and March 31 will need to pay for the card. After March 31 a new fee policy will be implemented, but details of that policy have not yet been issued.
The customer service hotline said that data card subsidies have been removed from all subscription plans except for one which continues to include a free card.