Chinese mobile users top 480M

Updated: 2007-05-04 16:37

The number of Chinese mobile users exceeded 480 million by the end of March, with 6.5 million new subscribers added every month in the first quarter, figures with the Ministry of Information Industry (MII) show.

The number of new subscribers averaged five million a month last year.

Mobile phone use was expanding rapidly in rural areas and some people had more than one phone number, according to the MII report.

The MII figures also showed the Chinese sent 135.8 billion text messages in the first quarter, up 37.4 percent over the same period of last year.

Meanwhile, the number of fixed-line users topped 370 million by the end of March, with 1.06 million new subscribers added per month in the first quarter.

More fixed-line users would choose to use cell phones as the cost of handsets and user charges continued to fall, according to the report.

The number of cell phone users reached 460 million at the end of last year, 67.7 million more than the end of 2005. On average, every 100 Chinese people had 35.3 cell phones and 28.1 fixed-line phones.

China imported its first mobile phone telecommunication facilities in 1987 and it took a decade for the number of subscribers to reach 10 million. Four years later, the country had the largest number of mobile phone subscribers in the world.

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