China had nearly 853 million mobile subscribers at the end of January, with more than 50 million of them 3G users, according to figures from the country’s mobile operators.
China Telecom signed up 3.5 million new mobile subscribers in January to bring its total to 94 million. Of the total, 13.64 million are 3G customers.
Balancing that, the carrier continued losing fixed-line customers and they dropped by 420,000.
China Unicom ended January with a total of almost 170 million mobile customers, which include more than 154 million 2G subscribers and more than 15 million 3G customers.
Unicom gained a total of 2.2 million new mobile subscribers in the month.
The English People’s Daily Online quoted Huang Wenge, an analyst with Minsheng Securities, as saying 3G smartphones will experience explosive growth in 2011, and their market share is likely to grow from 10% in 2010 to 30% by the end of this year.