China Mobile: 3.2 million new subscribers last month

  • Business
  • Saturday, 21 May 2005

HONG KONG: China Mobile (Hong Kong) Ltd, the world's biggest mobile carrier by subscribers, said yesterday it added 3.24 million users in April, a similar level of new additions as the previous month. China Mobile said it had 217.11 million users at the end of April, compared with 213.87 million at the end of March. 

The April growth compared with 3.25 million new users in March. 

CLSA analyst Francis Cheung said China Mobile showed expected steady growth in the company's subscriber numbers. 

“There's not a whole lot of change to the status quo. Though it seems like a tough market these days,” Cheung said. 

China Mobile has focused on building subscriber numbers in the country's smaller cities, as growth starts to taper off in bigger cities, where customers typically spend more. 

Chief rival China Unicom Ltd, China's No. 2 mobile carrier, said yesterday it added 1.36 million users in April. It was the company's slowest subscriber growth figures in more than two years. 

The April additions raised China Unicom's total subscribers by 1.17% to 117.79 million, compared with 116.43 million in March. 

The 1.36 million new subscribers for Unicom in April compared with 1.5 million in March. 

The weak numbers were a reflection of the company's slow CDMA growth, CLSA's Cheung said. 

“There doesn't seem to be much pick-up in CDMA subscriber numbers which they were hoping for,” Cheung said. 

China's telecoms sector is awaiting a highly-anticipated shake-up as the country's telecoms regulator prepares to award 3G mobile licences that will bring in a new generation of high-speed data services such as video conferencing. 

China is the world's largest mobile market, with over 330 million users, according to government data. – Reuters  

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