China Telecom added 1.31 million mobile connections in November and now has a total of 184 million (including 116 million 3G). But for the full year, it has still lost 1.44 million connections.
This is the fourth consecutive monthly gain for the operator, which suffered a net loss of subscribers almost every month since December 2013, when its connections peaked at 185.5 million.
At the current rate, the company should pass its previous peak in one to two months.
With its hybrid TDD-FDD LTE network trial expanding since August, it has rebounded strongly since then. It had about 1.3 million 4G connections, while China Unicom had 1.6 million in Q3, according to GSMA Intelligence.
China Mobile reported 50 million 4G users last month.
Last week the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology approved requests from China Telecom and China Unicom to expand their hybrid LTE network trials to an additional 15 cities, giving them licences to operate FDD-LTE services in 56 cities.
China Telecom added 420,000 fixed-line broadband connections in November, bringing its total to 106.6 million. For the year it has added 6.5 million broadband connections.