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China's mobile base surpasses 833M in November

The Chinese mobile market continued to show strong growth during November with the nation’s three wireless operators posting nearly 8.9 million customer additions and pushing the country’s total mobile customer base to more than 833 million subscribers.
The country’s – and world’s – largest operator China Mobile Ltd. (CHL) lead the way posting more than 4.6 million net customer additions for the month. The total pushed the carrier’s total customer growth for the year to 57.356 million subscribers and its total customer base to 579.639 million subscribers, of which 18.835 million are using 3G devices.
China Mobile continues to rely on the TD-SCDMA standard for its mobile technology that while limited in geographic scope has not seemed to slow down the carrier’s growth. China Mobile claims more than 266 TD-SCDMA devices are available in the market.
The country’s No. 2 operator China Unicom (CHU) said it added 1.724 million customers during the quarter, including 1.120 million subscribers to its UMTS-based 3G service, and 604,000 subscribers to its GSM-based 2G service. The carrier’s 3G growth included 169,800 wireless modem subscribers. The carrier said it ended the month with 165.525 million total customers on its network.
Analysts noted China Unicom’s growth has been hampered recently by a shortage of Apple Inc.’s iPhone devices that the carrier continues to have exclusive rights to in the Chinese market. China Unicom is the only carrier in the country using UMTS technology for its 3G network.
The country’s third-largest operator China Telecom Corp. Ltd. (CHA) said it added 2.51 million mobile customers during November, surpassing the growth posted by its larger competitor China Unicom. So far this year China Telecom, which relies on CDMA-based technology, said it has added 31.93 million customers pushing its total customer base to 88.02 million mobile subscribers.

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