China United Telecommunications Corp (China Unicom) has revealed that its mobile customer base surpassed the 100 million mark on 5 May, with GSM subscribers totalling 77.47 million and CDMA customers reaching 22.56 million at that date. The cellco said it sees the achievement as a new start, and plans to begin focusing on providing a good quality of service to its existing customers, rather than simply trying to attract new ones. The operator said it added an average of around a million new CDMA subscribers a month in 2003, but in the four months to the end of April 2004 this figure dropped to around 900,000.
China Unicom is now the second largest CDMA operator and the third-largest GSM operator in the world. It plans to launch a GSM1X service in July this year, which will allow GSM and CDMA users to alternate between the two technologies. It has contracted Samsung, LG and Motorola to provide the new infrastructure. It said the GSM1X phones will cost the same as its current GSM handsets.