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3G/HSPA

China Adds 8M Mobile Subs in May

China's three telecom operators added 8 million mobile connections in the month of May, while China Telecom Corp. Ltd. (NYSE: CHA) and China Unicom Ltd. (NYSE: CHU) added 1.53 million broadband connections and saw fixed local access connections fall by 1.64 million.

China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE: CHL) led the way in mobile with 5.12 million additions, while China Telecom and China Unicom split the new broadband connections recorded almost evenly.

Table 1: China: Broadband Subscribers - May 2009
Operator Total Connections Net Additions (May 09)
China Mobile not available not available
China Telecom 48.24 0.75
China Unicom 33.93 0.78
Source: Company reports. Figures in millions.


China Mobile and China Unicom each saw their lowest net additions of mobile subscribers of the year so far. China Unicom is 40 percent down on the number of new connections from the previous month. China Mobile continues on a downward trend that saw it drop below 6 million additions for the first time in the year in April and is now honing in on 5 million.

China Telecom meanwhile was up from the previous month and recorded its second-highest haul of mobile subscribers in 2009.

Table 2: China: Mobile Subscribers - May 2009
Operator Total Connections Net Additions (May 09)
China Mobile 488.1 5.12
China Telecom 36.91 2.2
China Unicom 139.5 0.68
Source: Company reports. Figures in millions.


Of the three operators, only China Mobile splits out its 3G numbers. It claims a total of 746,000 subscribers used services on its TD-SCDMA network in May, 232,000 up on April, demonstrating steady, if not dazzling, progress.

— Catherine Haslam, Asia Editor, Light Reading

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