On Tuesday, China Mobile VP Li Huidi announced at the Mobile World Congress that as of late June, China Mobile’s 4G subscriber numbers have breached 190 million, and the company is now closing in on its 200 millionth 4G customer. Li says that among China Mobile customers, 4G currently has a 25 percent penetration rate, meaning that there’s still plenty of room for 4G growth.
China Mobile has invested massive sums into 4G. With more than 900,000 4G nodes across China, the company owns about 40 percent of all the 4G nodes on earth, according to Li. But as 4G grows the company can expect its revenues to increase, as the ARPU for 4G users is about 1.5 times that of an average user.
Li also said that in addition to its 4G efforts, China Mobile is also aggressively researching 5G.
Overall, China’s mobile broadband users (3G and 4G subscribers) have by now most likely crossed the 50 percent threshold, with close to 700 million mobile broadband users. That more than a quarter of these are China Mobile 4G users shows that the company has clearly recovered from the 3G era, where it saw itself fall behind domestic competitors China Unicom and China Telecom by adopting a less popular form of 3G technology.