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China Mobile shows challenges, adds 5.4M customers in September

China Mobile continued to add to its world leadership position, reporting 5.4 million net customer additions for September and nearly 49 million new customers through the first nine months of the year. The carrier ended the reporting period with 698.5 million total customers.

The results were down slightly from the nearly 5.9 million customers the carrier added in September 2011, while the nine-month total was down from the 49.5 million net customer additions reported last year. China Mobile attributed the year-over-year slowdown to “various challenges arising from the slowdown in macro-economic growth, continued increase in mobile penetration rate and increasingly intensified market competition.”

The carrier did note that its 3G customer base had increased to 75.6 million at the end of September, which was roughly half of its total net customer additions through the third quarter.

Financially, China Mobile reported that average revenue per user had dipped year-over-year from $11.19 during the third quarter of 2011 to $10.71 during the third quarter of this year. That drop was offset by a larger customer base to push total revenues through the first nine months of the year up 6.4% to $65.3 billion. Total profits attributed to shareholders also increased 1.4% over the same time frame to $14.9 billion.

China Mobile added that despite the increased challenges, it would continue focusing on generating customer growth and shareholder value.

“Facing both challenges and opportunities, the group will leverage its existing advantages and core competitiveness in order to promote innovation and development, maintain its favorable business development and steady growth in its operating results and thereby, continuously create value for its shareholders,” the carrier added.

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