Chinese Subscriber Base to Nudge 600 Million in 2009

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According to the recent report by ROA Group the number of mobile subscribers in China reached 374.45 million as of the end of December in 2005. Currently the Chinese mobile market is growing in a rapid manner and mobile operators are engaged in fierce competition to create a new demand. As a result the annual growth rate is projected to amount to about 9.7% after 2005. Backed by this growth trend it is expected that 595.46 million Chinese people 44.18% of the total population will subscribe to mobile communications service in 2009.

ROA Group predicts that the number of GSM users will reach 380 million in 2008, but it is expected to decline gradually from 2009 with rapid evolution into 3G. As for CDMA, the figure of subscribers reached 32.72 million in 2005 and this will go up to 73.7 million in 2009.

In the case of 3G, the service launch is being postponed due to delays in application and issuance of license. Considering the fact that TD-SCDMA test has been completed and operators have established 3G plan and started building network in the end of 2005, 3G license issuance is expected in specific regions in June or July this year regardless of restructuring of the Chinese communications market. According to ROA Group's consultant, Selena Kim, the service is projected to secure 33.67 million users in 2006 and 130 million in 2009.

China Mobile plans to upgrade the existing 2.5G to 3G by investing 60 billion RMB over the next 3 years. If this plan becomes a reality, China Mobile can provide its service covering more than 80% of the country."

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