Wednesday, August 18, 2010

China Mobile Tops 554 Million Customers

China Mobile, the world's largest mobile operator reported healthy momentum in the first half of 2010,
although subscriber growth rates have slowed due to increasing mobile penetration rates and intensifying industry competition. For the six months of 2010, the Group's operating revenue reached RMB229,818 million, up 7.9% over the same period last year, while the Group achieved a 4.2% increase in profit over year to RMB57,643 million, representing a relatively high margin of 25.1%.

The total customer base at the end of June 2010 was 554 million. Monthly net adds averaged 5.29 million for the year, which is below the rate of growth from a year earlier. During the first half of the year, the carrier added 31,750,000 mobile lines, down from a net add of 35,874,000 new customers during the first half of 2009. In addition, China Mobile's market share fell from 72% to 69% over the period.

Average minutes of usage per user per month (MOU) was 520 minutes, up 6.1% over the same period last year, and average revenue per user per month (ARPU) was RMB72, exhibiting a moderately declining trend.

Total voice minutes carried over the China Mobile network reached 1.665 trillion minutes for the first half of the year -- up 20% over the first half of the year. Total voice revenues rose 5.8% to 161.9 billion RMB compared to a year earlier.

China Mobile noted a slowdown in SMS usage growth due to high penetration, IM to SMS substitution and cheaper
voice tariffs.

Mobile Internet access is growing rapidly and has become a key growth driver, contributing 65.7% of value-added
business revenue growth.

For future growth, China Mobile is pursuing a "Blue Ocean" strategy. Growth areas include New Customers in rural, migrant worker and family groups; New Voice usage by refining market segments; New Business and New Services by stimulating existing customers with new applications; New Arenas, such as developing the Internet of Things; and New Business Models in the mobile Internet Era. China Mobile is also targeting Mobile Payment/Mobile
Wallet, Mobile Reading, Mobile Video, Mobile Gaming, Music Downloads and Mobile TV services.

China Mobile launched a Mobile Payment/Mobile Wallet service in May and now has 360 merchants and 2.7 million users.

China Mobile's 3G network now has 115,000 base stations active in 238 cities. The number of activated 3G base stations is expected to pass 200,000 by the end of the year. Overall, China Mobile has 600,000 base stations, with fiber optic access reaching 96% of these locations.

China Mobile also provided an update on its technology roadmap. The company cited good progress in TD-LTE development and multiple city field trials are now planned following the successful network demonstration at Shanghai World Expo.

China Mobile is actively promoting a synchronized development and convergence of TD-LTE/FDD LTE in international standards organizations. TD-LTE has also gained support from China's government and from the industry ecosystems. The TD-LTE chipsets are now expected in the first half of 2011.


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