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Mobile phone penetration rate likely to pass 120% in 2013

By SHEN JINGTING | | Updated: 2013-02-27 21:14

China's mobile phone penetration rate is likely to pass 120 percent this year, as more people in the country own multiple mobile accounts, according to the chairman of China Mobile Ltd, Xi Guohua.

But Xi said China already has more than 1.1 billion mobile subscriptions, during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

He added that the rising mobile phone penetration rate had put pressure on telecom carriers, "because they cannot achieve business growth by simply adding new customers".

China became the world's first country to reach a billion mobile subscribers in March last year and analysts have predicted that rate will continue to rise.

Chen Jinqiao, deputy chief engineer of the China Academy of Telecommunication Research, said: "In many developing countries people may not have a computer but they own a mobile phone.

"The room for telecom operators to grab new clients is limited, as most Chinese people now possess a mobile phone."

He added that in some bigger cities, many may have two or more mobiles and they use them to communicate, study and for entertainment.

In the United States, the number of mobile phone accounts has already surpassed its population.

In some countries such as the United Arab Emirates, the number of mobile subscriptions is more than 1.5 times larger than its population.

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