Updated 22/9: China’s big three mobile operators continued their steady march toward 1 billion 4G subscriptions with figures from each company showing they picked up a combined 23.2 million LTE subscribers in August, taking their total to 932 million.
Market leader China Mobile, which holds a 64 per cent share of total mobile subscriptions, added 11 million 4G subscribers to take its total to a staggering 617 million at end-August.
China Unicom, the country’s second-largest in terms of total mobile subscriptions, picked up 7.5 million 4G subscribers to bring its total to 153 million. It narrowed the gap with rival China Telecom, which ended August with 162 million LTE subscribers after signing up 4.7 million during the month.
In December 2016, China Telecom had 122 million 4G subs compared with 104.5 million for China Unicom.
4G accounts for 67.2 per cent of mobile subscribers in China.
The operators’ figures exclude M2M but may include multiple SIMs per user, so the unique subscriber numbers may be lower.