China Unicom: fixed line, broadband subscriber base dips in December

21 Jan 2009

China Unicom (Hong Kong), the Hong Kong-listed subsidiary of China United Telecommunications Corp (China Unicom), reported a drop in subscribers to both its fixed line and broadband services last month, Interfax reports citing a statement from the company. As at 31 December 2008, China Unicom had 100.15 million fixed line subscribers, down 4.87 million on the previous month, while its broadband user base dropped by 22,000 to end the year at 25.42 million – the first time a Chinese operator recorded a loss in high speed internet users in 2008. On a more positive note, Unicom added a net 424,000 new GSM subscribers in December to lift its mobile total to 133.37 million.

Meanwhile, China Telecom Corp and China Mobile have also released monthly subscriber data for December 2008, with the former reporting a net loss of 60,000 CDMA users to 27.91 million – albeit less than the monthly losses of 430,000 and 680,000 in November and October respectively. China Telecom said it also lost 2.02 million fixed line and PHS users last month to end the year with a total 208.35 million accounts. Over the course of the year China Telecom shed more than 11.98 million fixed line and PHS customers, although net broadband additions in 2008 topped 8.62 million (700,000 in December alone) to raise the company total to 44.27 million by 31 December. For its part, China Mobile added around 7.07 million net new mobile users in December, pushing its total subscriber base up to a massive 457.25 million, and giving the cellco a net gain of 87.91 million mobile subscribers in 2008 as a whole.