The number of mobile phone users in the Chinese mainland had reached 176 million by the end of June of this year, the Ministry of Information Industry (MII) said Monday.
This is an increase of 31.35 million mobile phone users in the first half of this year while the number using pagers fell by 10.98 million to stand at 25.07 million.
An official with the MII said China's telecommunications sectoris still expanding in the first six months of this year as sales in the sector totaled 184.5 billion yuan (22.31 billion US dollars), up 16 percent on the same period last year.
He said the number of the fixed telephone subscribers on the Chinese mainland was 198 million by the end of June, an increase of 19.9 million fixed phone users in the first half of this year.
Statistics show 30.2 out of every 100 people have fixed telephones and 13.86 have mobile telephones.
Experts predicted that if the current speed of growth continues,the number of mobile phone users will surpass fixed phone users in May or June next year.
(Xinhua News Agency July 17, 2002)