China Telecom usurps Verizon to become world’s largest CDMA network operator

31 Mar 2011

China Daily is reporting that China Telecommunications Corporation (China Telecom) has announced that its mobile subscriber base now exceeds 100 million, making it the world’s largest CDMA network, ahead of previous number one Verizon Wireless of the United States. Sun Kangmin, vice-president of China Telecom, said at a news conference in Beijing that the number of subscribers using the company’s mobile services had increased to ‘more than 100 million’, with 3G users reaching 15 million. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Verizon Wireless claimed 94.13 million customers at the end of 2010, and is unlikely to have added more than a million users in the first three months of 2011.

Since the beginning of last year, China Telecom has invested heavily in the construction of its 1xEV-DO network and has worked with a number of device manufacturers to introduce low-price smartphones to the market. According to the company, sales of CDMA-enabled handsets totalled 45 million in 2010, a 50% increase on the previous year. Further, the company predicts sales of 60 million in 2011, with 3G handsets accounting for half of these. The average selling price of a 3G CDMA handset fell by 54% during the course of 2010, Kangmin added.