China Mobile’s Steady Subscriber Adds Continue In May As 4G Picks Up
China Mobile continued its strong run in the Chinese wireless market last month, with robust gains in 3G and 4G subscribers. The carrier added over 4.3 million 3G and 3.3 million 4G subscribers in May, compared to the combined tally of 4.3 million additions by rivals China Unicom and China Telecom in the same period. China Mobile’s 3G/4G subscriber adds were consistent with the carrier’s performance in the last several months, and can be attributed to its aggressive network expansion, improved user handset options and higher subsidy offerings. The company has also benefited from the fact that the Chinese government has only awarded TD-LTE 4G licenses to carriers, while FDD-LTE 4G licenses are still pending. This helped China Mobile expand its 4G subscriber base by about 70% from 4.8 million users in April to over 8.1 million users in May. Since 3G and 4G subscriber additions are expected to improve the carrier’s 3G/4G mix and Average Revenue Per User due to higher internet data usage, we expect the company’s top line to grow rapidly in the near term.
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