With its 3G numbers standing at 79 million, China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE:CHL) (HKG:0941) meets a net increase of users picking up a total of 4.96 million customers in the month of October.
Given that its subscriber count is significantly greater than the population at large, China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE:CHL) (HKG:0941) paces forward as potentially the world’s largest carrier, with Vodafone Group Plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:VOD) standing at second with 400 million users.
Reuters presented a breakdown of mobile subscriber statistics for October, as provided by three leading carriers:
China Mobile China Unicom China Telecom Mobile subscribers (including 3G): -cumulative no. of users 703.47 232.88 155.52 -net addition 4.96 3.39 2.90 -m/m growth (pct) 0.71 1.48 1.90 3G subscribers: -cumulative no. of users 79.31 70.07 62.74 -net addition 3.71 3.21 3.02 -m/m growth (pct) 4.91 4.80 5.06 Note: All numbers are in millions, otherwise stated. (Source: Companies, Reuters calculation)
With its 162.8m 2G subscribers, China Unicom stands on a second number with its 70 million 3G customers reported in July, which in fact, makes it a notable fact.
Although China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE:CHL) (HKG:0941) has left China Unicom Limited (NYSE:CHU) (HKG:0762) behind in 3G growth last month, it appears as a temporary upswing only, as China Unicom Limited (NYSE:CHU) (HKG:0762) is likely to see an uplift in its 3G growth with iPhone 5 hitting the market this year.
Chine Telecom, standing third in place, has now a total of 155.42m mobile subscribers, out of which 3G subscribers total a number of 62.74 million. It has been reported that China Telecom experienced a bump in its 3G subscribers in the same month.
2012 being an important year for rapid 3G adoption in China, China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE:CHL) (HKG:0941) has picked up 27 million 3G customers since the start of this years, while China Unicom Limited (NYSE:CHU) (HKG:0762) has brought on about 26 million 3G susbscribers. If the fresh subscriber count retains for a couple of months, the total of new subscribers is likely to hit the mark of 100 million by the end of 2012.
It is notable that China Telecom Corporation Limited (ADR) (NYSE:CHA) is purchasing its 3G network infrastructure from its parent company for a sum of $13.3 billion. In other news, China Unicom reported that it expected revenue from its 3G service that would likely overtake its 2G business this year.