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China Mobile dials up bumper June

Adds 5.5 million subscribers

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China Mobile had a cracker month in June, adding 5.5 million subscribers and taking its total to 332.4 million.

Subscribers are expected to balloon to 711.6 million by 2010, but even then that will only represent 52.5 per cent of the population, according to research and consulting firm ROA Group, which specialises in convergence and mobile markets in Asia.

In this respect, it's still a developing market.

At the end of 2006, China had 443.6 million signed up. A little over half, 284 million, are pre-paid customers, with the rest on contract.

It's hard to think in these terms - many network operators would be glad to have a total subscriber base of 5.5 million, let alone a monthly growth of that size, but China is a huge country and one which has enthusiastically embraced mobile telecommunications.

Surprisingly, 3G services still aren't available: with licenses expected to be issued at the end of the year. All the larger operators have been testing 3G technologies, and China Mobile intends to use its subscriber numbers to drive mass production - reducing costs and enabling it to export cheap 3G handsets.

ROA's report is available for download here. ®

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