China Telecom plans to boost 3G mobile Internet subscribers

Updated: 2011-01-19 10:50

By Shen Jingting (China Daily)

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China Telecom plans to boost 3G mobile Internet subscribers

Visitors at China Telecom's booth at PT EXPO COMM CHINA 2010, held at the China International Exhibition Center in Beijing. [Photo / China Daily]

100 million users in the first quarter and most comprehensive coverage

BEIJING - China Telecom Corporation aims to increase the number of its 3G users to 35 million this year, and 10 million of them could be 3G smart phone users, Wang Xiaochu, chairman and chief executive officer of the company, said on Tuesday.

The company did not reveal the exact number of current 3G users, but industry analysts said the figure probably surpassed 11 million by the end of last year.

The number of China Telecom subscribers reached 93 million by the end of 2010, an increase of 34 million from the previous year.

"We expect China Telecom will have more than 100 million subscribers by the first quarter of this year. The number of newly added mobile phone users will surpass that of 2010," Wang said at a industry conference in Beijing.

"During the past two years, especially in 2010, we saw a breakthrough in the CDMA chain. We broke the bottleneck of insufficient numbers of handset," Wang added.

The company provided 800 CDMA device models in 2010 and terminal sales rose 50 percent to more than 45 million units.

Domestic demand for CDMA terminals is expected to surpass 60 million this year, and more than half of those will be 3G phones, Wang said.

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He suggested mobile phone manufacturers should step up production of 3G smartphones, especially those handsets with a price range of between 700 yuan ($106) to 2,000 yuan, which are most popular smartphone models in China.

"China Telecom also wants to bring 'Made-in-China' handsets to overseas CDMA operators," Wang said.

China Telecom's 3G network has the most extensive coverage among the three domestic carriers, with full coverage at county level since 2009. Meanwhile, 77 percent of villages and towns across China can use China Telecom's 3G services.

Wang said China Telecom has the lowest rate in terms of customer loss.

"It means that once a customer starts to use the CDMA network and experience our products and services, they are unlikely to abandon it," he added.

Wang did not say whether China Telecom would introduce the CDMA iPhone to China, as "negotiations are under way".

3G mobile devices have become the first choice for domestic consumers when they consider changing their cell phones, according to a survey conducted by news portal

Sina's research showed that 30 percent of Chinese people chose a 3G phone at the beginning of 2010, with that figure rising significantly to 70 percent by the end of the year.


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