One Billion Mobile Phone Subscribers in China
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology recently published a statement saying that the number of mobile subscribers within Mainland China has reached over one billion. During the past three months, the Chinese mobile market has gained more than 43 million new customers; the total number of subscribers is now over 1,030,052,000.
More Subscribers, More Connections
The three major state-owned players, China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom, are competing in a tough but huge market which has seen a year on year increase, from the first quarter of 2011 to the first of 2012, of 14.8% putting the total business value at more than 419 billion RMB (65.7 US$ Billion) this quarter.
They are now heading their way to upgrade their networks to allow customers to enjoy the benefit of 3G speed, unlike China Unicom which, few weeks ago, has recently announced the deployment of their HSPA+ 3G network to its customers. The HSPA+ technology will allow users to enjoy a 21 Mbps speed link directly to their smartphone, it means that they will get an even higher speed compare to the average DSL speed of 1.8 Mbps at home.
China mobile has 673 million users whom 62 million are 3G subscribers, China Unicom has 213 million users whom 52 million are 3G subscribers and China Telecom has 139 million subscribers whom 46 million are 3G subscribers. The total of 3G subscribers is now up to 160 million which is more than half the size of the USA population.
Smartphones Versus Old Phones
As the sales of smartphones are increasing each month and with the emergence of cheap android based smartphones released by Netease, Samsung and Baidu (read our news about Baidu's new phones), we can expect that the number of 3G subscribers will keep growing strongly in the upcoming months. Moreover, we wouldn’t be surprised if the number of visitors for a given website, especially for the social media ones, coming from smartphones exceed the number of computer based ones.
This will reinforce the problem of accessibility for mobile users visiting non-adapted website and stress the importance of new web-technology like responsive design and adapted languages such as HTML5.