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Fixed-line users drop by 6.8 mln
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China's two major fixed-line operators last year lost subscribers to mobile rivals who cut service fees and unveiled promotions for free incoming calls.


China Telecom, the nation's largest fixed-line operator, saw the number of fixed lines fall by 2.71 million last year. Its smaller rival China Netcom lost 4.11 million.


The declines were also accelerating. China Telecom lost 1.48 million users and China Netcom lost 2.53 million in December, declining for the fifth and sixth month respectively.


China Telecom also blamed its reduction in service promotions to low-end customers for its loss of subscribers.


However, it's a different story for mobile operators as they reported huge subscribers growth last year.


China Mobile, the nation's largest mobile operator, saw subscribers increase by more than 68 million to 369 million last year. Meanwhile, its rival China Unicom added 18 million last year, lifting its total handset users to 160 million.


(Xinhua News Agency January 24, 2008)

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