The world’s largest cellco by subscribers, China Mobile, has reported that first quarter profit rose 37.2% to RMB24.1 billion (USD3.4 billion) from RMB17.6 billion a year earlier. Sales increased 19.7% to RMB93.02 billion. Chief Executive Officer Wang Jianzhou said the company succeeded in attracting new customers away from fixed line operators China Telecom and China Netcom by introducing a calling-party-pays system and ramping up new service offerings such as mobile newspapers. The company added 7.8 million users in the month of March (22.8 million in the quarter) to take its total to 392.1 million. The burgeoning base, achieved by a massive push into China’s rural areas, has meant that ARPU is being squeezed, falling by RMB3 to RMB82 at the end of the quarter. EBITDA climbed 22.2% to RMB49.8 billion.