China is by far the largest country, weighing in at 1.35 billion people in an official estimate taken at the end of 2011. So it comes as no real surprise that China has just crossed the big billion threshold for mobile phone subscriptions. According to China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) the total number of mobile subscriptions reached 1.006 billion in February.
Out of these subscriptions, 144 million are on 3G networks which is double the number from April last year. These numbers nearly match the number of people that have broadband access, which currently stands at 154.96 million. This growth in mobile phone connections comes at the cost of more traditional calling methods. Mobile subscriptions increased by2.9% while landlines dropped by 2.1% in the same time period.
China Mobile will no doubt be happy with these growing figures, as of January this year they had 655 million mobile phone subscribers; roughly two thirds of China’s mobile subscriptions. They also recorded an astounding net income figure of just under $20 billion for the year ended 2011, just $5 billion shy of Apple.
Kitguru says: It will be mighty interesting to see how the networks cope once smartphone adoption rates increase in a country 20 times larger than the UK.