China’s LTE Subscriber Market is Heading Towards a Billion

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By Jake Saunders | 1Q 2017 | IN-4411

704 Million LTE Subscribers and Counting


Full 2016 numbers for China’s three mobile telcos are not out yet, as it is early January 2017. However, based on the latest telco metrics, leading up to the end of October 2016, the numbers are eye-popping. China’s three largest mobile telecom operators ended October with approximately 704 million LTE subscribers. Total subscriptions (2G, 3G, and 4G) stood at 1.32 billion, which means 53.2% of China’s mobile subscribers are on LTE. Commercial LTE services only started three years ago. Indeed, out of that 704 million, 41% or 289 million were added in the first 10 months of the year.

Breaking the numbers down further:

  • The world’s largest mobile operator, China Mobile, ended October with a staggering 497 million LTE connections, having added 185 million new connections this year. China Mobile initially launched commercial LTE services in December 2013, and currently supports services with spectrum in the 1900 MHz, 2.3 GHz, and 2.5 GHz bands.
  • China Telecom ended October with nearly 113 million LTE connections, benefiting from 54.5 m…

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