China Mobile Added as Many 4G Subscribers as the U.K. Population

  • Carrier adds 64 million 4G customers in first quarter
  • First-quarter profit rose 0.5 percent to 23.9 billion yuan

China Mobile Ltd., the world’s largest wireless carrier, reported an increase in profit after adding as many 4G subscribers as there are people in the U.K.

Net income gained 0.5 percent to 23.9 billion yuan ($3.7 billion) in the three months ended March 31, the company said Wednesday. That compares with the 24.6 billion yuan average of three analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

China Mobile, which has more than half the country’s wireless market, is benefiting from higher revenue after gaining market share at the expense of China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd., which was the last of the country’s major carriers to begin offering 4G services. Data traffic grew “rapidly,” boosting the average amount customers spent, the company said.

The company added 64.2 million 4G customers in the quarter. Operating revenue increased 8.7 percent to 177.5 billion yuan in the first quarter, according to the statement. Monthly average revenue per user for mobile edged up to 57.6 yuan in the period.

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