China Mobile, the world’s biggest mobile operator by subscribers, added 31.76 million customers over the first half of the year but faced intensifying competition and an increasingly saturated market. The carrier now has 554 million wireless subscribers.
Average revenue per user slipped to 72 Yuan, or $40, showing what China Mobile called a “moderately declining trend.” Overall, China Mobile made 57.6 billion Yuan, or $8.48 billion on operating revenue of $229.8 billion Yuan, or $33.84 billion.
The development of some market sectors, including migrant workers and rural subscribers, are showing “great” growth potential as mobile broadband services pick up steam, China Mobile said. The company also expects the Chinese government will stimulate domestic consumption, which would in turn benefit the telecommunications industry.
The company also said it was working on research and development for its LTE plans, which have been the source of widespread speculation among wireless infrastructure companies. Though China Mobile has said it will pursue a time division variety of LTE, it has not yet received government approval for its planned 4G network and the timing of the deployment remains unclear.