Reuters reports that China Mobile – the world’s largest operator by subscribers – saw its stock fall to a 15 month low today amid reports that Beijing will soon impose unfavourable mobile number portability regulations on the company. Reuters notes that China Mobile has to begin testing a policy in two cities that will let users keep their mobile numbers when they switch to another operator. However, the news agency reports that some analysts expect such a scheme, which may be rolled-out nationwide by 2009, to be a one-way affair, barring users from retaining their numbers when they switch to China Mobile.

This scenario would potentially discourage users from leaving a rival operator and joining China Mobile. It would also come at a time when China Mobile is testing a homegrown 3G technology – TD-SCDMA – whilst rivals China Telecom and China Unicom are expected to rollout mature 3G technologies (CDMA2000 and WCDMA, respectively). The Reuters report said China Mobile ended Thursday trading down nearly 5.29 percent at HK$77 (US$9.9).