China Mobile to expand despite Paktel problems - Mobile World Live

China Mobile to expand despite Paktel problems

30 OCT 2009

China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, says it will continue its strategy of expanding into emerging markets in Asia and Africa despite not yet seeing a return on investment from its Pakistan subsidiary, Paktel. At a meeting of the World Economic Forum over the weekend, China Mobile chief executive Wang Jianzhou said the operator would focus on expansion in emerging markets rather than looking to enter North America or Europe where it sees valuations as too high, reports Reuters. But he admitted that revenues at Paktel – the Pakistan mobile operator that China Mobile acquired last year for US$400 million – has not yet begun to reflect China Mobile’s additional US$1.2 billion investment in the firm and was not likely to report a positive return in the short term. “We have a lot of risks, we have a lot of troubles,” Wang said of Paktel, noting daily power shortages in major cities and high taxes among the problems. He explained that ARPU at Paktel was just US$3 per month compared to China Mobile’s average of US$12. “We think the market situation in markets like Pakistan are very similar to those several years ago in China,” Wang added.

In other news, DigiTimes reports that China Mobile is rumoured to be planning the launch of a device based on Google’s Android mobile operating system before the end of the year. According to industry sources in Taiwan, China Mobile – a member of Google’s Android-focused Open Handset Alliance – is looking to offer a handset from HTC – the maker of the T-Mobile G1, the first Android-based device unveiled last week. The report says that China Mobile’s decision to launch an Android device has been prompted by a delay to a separate Linux-based open mobile system developed specifically for the China market, which will not now be ready until next year.



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