China Mobile predicts subscriber base to hit 300m

25 Aug 2006

China Mobile, the world's largest mobile phone network operator, said its subscriber base could reach nearly 300 million by the end of this year if it maintains its current pace of growth.

China Mobile said it is adding 4.29 million new subscribers per month on average so far this year.

The company boasted 278.3 million users at the end of July, and if it maintains its current growth rate in the last five months of this year, it will reach 299.7 million, while one or two strong months would push it over the 300 million level.

The company's subscriptions already top all wireless users in the US , which stand at an estimated 217.9 million.

It also handily beats the 111.2 million mobile phone subscribers counted by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India at the end of July.

To increase growth, China Mobile is concentrating on rural areas of the country, following the lead of government policies meant to bring further development to central and western areas of China.

A lot of the country's growth up to now has been concentrated in southern and coastal regions of the nation.

The user penetration rate in such areas is about 11.5%, but China Mobile hopes to improve that figure by further building out its network and offering more low-cost handsets. Currently, the company offers eight low cost handset models, the lowest priced at 300 yuan ($37.65), China Mobile said.

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