Study: China to have 400M mobile users by 2007

The wireless services market in China is continuing to grow rapidly and will have over 400 million subscribers by 2007, according to a report released Tuesday by Instat/MDR.

China had 207 million mobile subscribers at the end of 2002 and the market is experiencing average annual growth well above 10 per cent. As well as being the world’s largest mobile market, China remains one of the fastest-growing, according to the report.

According to China’s Ministry of Information Industry, the number of subscribers has already reached 249 million as of the end of September, indicating a growth rate of over 20 per cent in the first nine months of this year.

The Chinese mobile market is in a state of transition from a voice-centric, price-competitive model to a more complex mixture of voice, wireless data and multimedia services. This represents a significant opportunity for infrastructure and device manufacturers, application developers, and component makers, especially as growth in U.S. and European mobile markets is expected to be much lower than that in China, InStat/MDR said.

Among the changes to occur in the market are:

– increasing deployment of next-generation networks such as Code Division Multiple Access 2000 (CDMA2000), Wideband CDMA (WCDMA), and Time Division -Synchronous CDSMA (TD-SCDMA) will give operators improved network efficiency, higher capacity, and the ability to begin offering high-speed wireless data services.

– opportunities exist at both the high and low ends of the market, with corporate customers taking advantage of advanced data services, while network efficiency enables operators to cost-effectively target first-time subscribers

– the corporate sector is gradually migrating to 2.5G and 3G services, driven by increasing corporate wireless implementations and improved device functionality.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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