Smartphones boost China Telecom 3G user growth in Q2

Fiona Chau
22 Jul 2011
00:00
News
Daily News

China Telecom, the smallest of China’s three mobile carriers, saw strong uptake of its 3G service in the second quarter due to the increased availability of entry-level smartphones.

During the three-month period from April to June, China Telecom registered 5.17 million new 3G subscribers, up 27% from the 4.08 million 3G users the operator added during the first quarter ended March.

The number of new 3G new users stood at 1.4 million in April, climbed to over 1.83 million in May and hit 1.87 million in June – a record high for the operator for the first half of the year. These figures outpaced rival China Unicom, which registered 1.85 million and 1.74 million respectively in the last two months.

Ivan Wong, manager of investor relations at China Telecom, said the subscriber growth was mainly boosted by the introduction of new smartphone models priced below 1,000 yuan ($155), which started hitting the market at the start of Q2.

Wong said China Telecom will introduce 400 new handset models in 2011, of which 300 will be 3G handsets.

The company is still in talks with Apple on bringing the EVDO-based iPhone to China and has yet to decide on a release date, Wong added.

“We [Apple and China Telecom] have agreed on the technical issues but are still working out the commercial terms,” Wong told TelecomAsia.

TABLE: China 3G subscribers growth January - June, 2011

China Telecom
China Unicom
China Mobile
2011
Net 3G (million)
Net 3G (million)
Net 3G (million)
June
1.87
1.855
3.029
May
1.83
1.738
2.616
April
1.47
1.817
2.39
TOTAL [Q2]
5.17
5.41
8.035
March
1.61
1.855
2.445
February
1.12
1.213
1.914
Jan
1.35
1.407
1.931
TOTAL [Q1]
4.08
4.475
6.29
TOTAL [1H2011]
9.25
9.885
14.325

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