China Telecom reports healthy financials despite 4G struggles

China’s number three operator China Telecom lost 4 million subscribers in the nine months to September as it struggled to play catchup with the launch of 4G services by larger rivals.

China Telecom’s total subscriber base now stands at 182 million, of which 113 million are 3G users. It had 1.3 million 4G subscribers at the end of September (compared to China Mobile’s 41 million and 2.7 million at China Unicom).

“The decline in the number of mobile subscribers during the period was mainly due to the increasing market competition driven by the launch of LTE services and strengthened marketing promotion by the peers,” noted chairman and CEO Wang Xiaochu in a statement.

Wang stressed that 4G development is a priority for the company, with China Telecom currently deploying LTE technology in 40 mainland cities (via hybrid TDD-FDD LTE trials) amid plans to expand. Wang confirmed reports it will apply for expansion of its hybrid trials as well as a full commercial FDD license. Read more

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