China World’s Biggest Mobile Subscriber Population, But Still Has Plenty of Room to Grow

China has become the first country in the globe to have more than 1 billion mobile phone subscribers, according to government statistics. It has reached 951.6 million October last year with additional 39 million users per quarter. Based on that and recent growth rates, the total number of users has surpassed a billion sometime during this month. We can say it’s around 74 percent of its total population — 1.35 billion people — owns a mobile phone.

One of the first customers who queued up to purchase a new smartphone iPhone 4S show his new phone at an Apple Store Friday Jan. 13, 2012 in Shanghai, China. Mobile subscribers in China have breached the 1 billion mark, although the country is still said to have room to grow, in terms of mobile broadband speeds and penetration. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

China Has the World’s Top Mobile Phone Population

The figures underscore the soaring rate of mobile phone adoption in the country. In March three years ago, the country had 670 million mobile phone users. During the same period in 2010, that number reached 776 million. China Mobile, the country’s largest telecommunications company, has the biggest market share with 67.3 percent, followed by China Unicom with 20.1 percent and China Telecom, the smallest of the three operators, have 12.6 percent share.

A point to note is that China Mobile has been listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) marked them as the first company from China to be included in the list. In 2004, International Telecommunications Union (ITU) ranked China Mobile first among the top ten mobile operators by proportionate subscribers.

India Catching Up

While China maintains itself as the country with the most mobile phone users, India is catching up, with the growth rate of telecommunication sector continued to enjoy an impressive growth. The wireless subscription base has recorded an increase of 227.27 million, thus makes it a total base of 893.84 million connections according to a recent report from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. The overall teledensity registered an increase from 52.74 at the end of March 2010 to 70.89 at the end of March 2011.

China’s 3G networks, which launched three years ago, added around 15 million new subscribers over the first two months of 2012. This puts them on track to surpass its 2011 3G network growth rate, which made around 135 million subscribers in the nation by now. Many analysts and parties have concluded that China’s smartphone sales have driven the force in the increase of 3G subscribers in the country.

And at the end of last year, China had 440 million users who used mobile devices to go online, an increase from 305 million a year before, as stated by China Internet Network Information Center.

Still Plenty of Room for Growth?

The countries with the most phones per person tend to be small, with lots of borders or numerous foreign workers and visitors, as stated by Susan Teltscher, an analyst at the ITU. If there is a question which country has the most cell phones per person? United Arab Emirates (UAE) with two for each citizen is the answer. Second place goes to Montenegro. Why? Because the visitors tend to buy local phones to use during their stay either for vacation or business trip. With the UAE as a benchmark, mobile phone market in China surely appear to have plenty of room to grow.