Mobile data driving growth for China’s third-biggest operator

The number three operator in China has reported a significant boost in 3G adoption across the first half of 2011. China Telecom, which is the largest CDMA operator in the world, posted profits of CNY9.81 billion (US$1.53 billion) for January - June 2011, a year-on-year increase of 8.1%. Revenue rose 11.5%, reaching CNY120.21 billion, with over a quarter of this (CNY31.14 billion) generated from mobile services.

The operator’s rising subscriber number showed increased uptake of 3G services, with 21.54 million of its 108.37 million customers having a 3G handset. This represents a 75.3% increase, bringing the operator’s total percentage of 3G subscribers to just below 20% - at the end of June last year, this figure was 7.2%.

China Telecom attributes its success in attracting new subscribers to being a “pioneer in launching sub-CNY1,000 (US$157) 3G smartphones, with industry-leading sales volumes.” Its product portfolio encompasses around 400 devices, 100 of which are smartphones. Across the first half of 2011, there was a 12% compound growth rate in data accessed via 3G-capable devices.

Mobile internet use has been a major factor in the operator’s growth, allowing the firm to offset falling fixed voice revenues and increase its market share by 2.5% within a year. China Telecom chairman Wang Xiaochu stated: “the intensified market competition and the industry convergence in the mobile internet era are bringing new challenges.”

Sign-up to our weekly newsletter

Keep up-to-date with all the latest news, articles, event and product updates posted on Developing Telecoms.
Subscribe to our FREE weekly email newsletters for the latest telecom info in developing and emerging markets globally.
Sending occasional e-mail from 3rd parties about industry white papers, online and live events relevant to subscribers helps us fund this website and free weekly newsletter. We never sell your personal data. Click here to view our privacy policy.