China Mobile by Numbers
Some other subscriber stats in the operator's first quarter results are also worth noting here. Of China Mobile's total subscriber base, 380 million are classified as value-added business users. The operator has 107 million MMS users, up 18 percent from the fourth quarter last year, and 309 million wireless music users, up 14.7 percent from the last quarter. And there were 150.5 billion SMS messages sent during the first quarter, up 9.5 percent from the last quarter. (See China Mobile Reports 1Q08.)
But China Mobile, large as it is, isn't immune to falling monthly average revenue per user (ARPU). ARPU was down 9.8 percent from RMB91 ($13) in the fourth quarter last year to RMB82 ($11) in the first quarter this year. According to the operator, the drop in ARPU is due to expansion into rural areas, where the subscriber additions are low-margin users.
— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Unstrung