China Unicom will ramp up broadband connectivity nationwide to help 80% of its users have access to 2Mbps by the end of 2009, an executive of the Chinese telecom giant said on Tuesday.

With an investment of over 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion), China Unicom is upgrading its broadband network presently, and plans to complete all its planned Fiber-to-the-x (FTTX) improvement projects within the two or three years to come, according to the executive.

In detail, the company will offer FTTB (building) plus WLAN services and plus FTTB plus DSL services to new communities and old communities in many Chinese urban areas, respectively. Besides, it is set to cooperate with Internet companies to develop value-added services applicable to high-speed broadband, such as familial audiovisual applications, entertainment, and gaming.

By the end of this June, the number of China's broadband users had reached 320 million, up 3.7% year on year, according to the China Internet Network Information Center. The Chinese broadband users account for 94.3% of the country's total netizens and rank No. 1 in the world.

($1 = 6.83102103 yuan)