The number of mobile phone subscribers in China reached a record 383 million at the end of October, the Ministry of Information Industry said on Tuesday, an increase of 48.2 million on the end of last year.
On the average, China had 4.82 million new mobile phone subscribers a month in the first ten months this year, said the ministry in a press release. At the end of October, there were 29.1 mobile phones for every 100 Chinese.
Use of short messages also witnessed a sharp rise of 40.1 percent year-on-year to more than 246.6 billion messages in the first ten months, said the ministry.
Though facing heated competition, the number of fixed-line subscribers rose 36.8 million over the end of last year to a total of 348 million by the end of October. By then, there were 26.6 fixed-line subscribers for every one hundred Chinese.
The ministry said the total number of telephone users in China, both mobile and fixed-line, reached 731 million by the end of October. China's mobile users began to outnumber fixed-line subscribers in October 2003.
The ministry also said that in the first ten months of the year total revenue from post and telecommunications reached 528.44 billion yuan (US$65.4 billion), up 11.2 percent on the same period last year.
China imported its first mobile phone telecom facilities in 1987, and it took a decade for its number of subscribers to jump to 10 million. Four years later, the number of the country's mobile phone subscribers ranked first in the world.
(Xinhua News Agency November 23, 2005)