The Chinese telecoms industry saw revenues of CNY136.52 billion (USD16.53 billion) in the first three months of the year, up 9.1% on the same period last year. The positive result is due to a continued increase in subscriber numbers and traffic. Local fixed line call volumes were up 5.4% year-on-year to 169.03 billion minutes, while long-distance traffic rose 19.5% to 19.79 billion minutes. Domestic IP volumes increased 16.8% to 30.74 billion minutes, while international IP traffic rose 34.6% to 301.06 minutes. In the mobile sector traffic was up 34.1% to 274.89 billion minutes. There were 325.4 million wireline subscribers, 28.33 million broadband customers and 349.05 million cellular subscribers at the end of March; mobile subscribers passed the 350 million mark earlier this week.
Meanwhile, the fixed line operator China Netcom has announced that it is planning to buy four provincial wireline networks from its parent company China Netcom Communications Group Corp. The new networks in Heilongjiang, Jilin, Shanxi and Inner Mongolia will add to Netcom’s existing systems in six northern provinces. On completion of the deal China’s four main telecoms operators, the listed companies Netcom, China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom, will have direct ownership of all the country’s main wireline and wireless networks.