China Unicom said it had spent Yn5.55bn on handset subsidies to help it meet its target of 4.49m CDMA subscribers. However it still had about Yn2.36bn-worth of mobile handsets in stock, which are likely to affect the company's future earnings.
The carrier launched its code division multiple access operation in January 2002 and has offered aggressive subsidies to boost uptake of the network. Last year it lost Yn998m on its CDMA operation, most of it in the first six months.
In 2003, Unicom hopes to sign up 11.4m new CDMA subscribers and 10.1m new GSM users. Last month, it started offering pre-paid card services for its CDMA network at rates that significantly undercut the official mobile tariff rate set by the Ministry of Information Industry.