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Phone subscribers to reach 746 mln in China

Phone subscribers in China may reach 746 million by the end of 2005, of which handset subscribers will approach 400 million and fix-line phone users will exceed 353 million, according to xinhuanet.com.

Xi Guohua, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Information Industry, revealed the data at the China Telecom Annual Work Meeting for 2006. Since the competition of handset to substitute fixed-line telephones is intensified growth of handset subscribers continues to surpass that of fixed-line telephone. By the end of 2004 nationwide handset users reached 334.8 million, and about 5 million new users added to the number each month over the year.

The sustained growth of handset users brought with it the swelling short message business. According to statistics, mobile phones sent 217.76 billion short messages in 2004 while the first ten months of 2005 have witnessed transmission of 246.66 billion short messages, 40.1 percent more than the same period of last year. Assuming each message costs 10 cents at least the market income approached 25 billion yuan.

Apart from short messages, China’s handset value-added business sees numerous new services and applications. Multimedia message adds sound and pictures to short messages. WAP service can connect the mobile phone with the Internet anywhere at any time. With the advent of the third generation mobile communications, mobile added-value services besides voice business will be embraced by more and more users.

By People’s Daily Online

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