China Mobile forges on with 4G rollout

31 Oct 2014

China Mobile has reportedly ramped up its TD-LTE rollout, revealing a target of deploying some 200,000 more base stations by the end of the year.

The operator aims to have 700,000 4G base stations across the country by the end of the year, WantChinaTimessaid, citing Sina's Chinese-language news portal.

China Mobile reached the milestone of having 500,000 TD-LTE base stations in September. Earlier this month, the operator awarded a $970 million contract to Nokia Networks covering the supply of EPC and GSM networking equipment for its rollout.

The network currently covers more than 300 cities, and China Mobile's total spending on its rollout to date has exceeded 2.4 billion yuan ($392.5 million).

The operator's aggressive spending on deploying LTE helped the company attract nearly 41 million 4G subscribers as of the end of last month. This represents an influx of 27 million subscribers in the third quarter alone.

But China Mobile also recently reported a 9.7% decline in nine-month profit, despite a 3.9% increase in revenue.

Spending on 4G rollouts and related promotions have impacted earnings at all three state-owned operators, leading to regulators instructing the companies to cut back on subsidy expenses.

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