China Unicom, the smaller of the country’s two mobile operators, has posted a 5% fall in third quarter profits as bigger rival China Mobile dented its market share. In the three months ended 30 September 2006 Unicom reported a net profit of CNY1.39 billion (USD176 million), down from CNY1.47 billion a year earlier. Third quarter earnings were derived from nine-month figures reported by Beijing-based Unicom. The company said net profit for the first nine months of 2006 rose 10% to CNY4.19 billion, on the back of a 7.6% rise in sales to CNY70.2 billion. Adjusted EBITDA rose 11% to CNY23.7 billion, the company said. Unicom had 103.1 million GSM users and 35.4 million CDMA customers at the end of September. China Mobile had 287.2 million customers at the same date. Unicom’s average monthly ARPU calculated over the nine-month period was CNY49.7 for GSM users and CNY66.8 for CDMA.