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Exploring the science and magic of Identity and Access Management
Wednesday, June 16, 2021
 

China Mobile adds 5.28 million subscribers in May

Identity
Author: Mark Dixon
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
7:33 pm

This is a staggering statistic. Think of it. One carrier in China added more subscribers in May than Verizon Wireless (2 million) and AT&T (1.8 million) combined added in the final “strong growth” quarter of 2006. This is in a country where the per capita income is $1,740 per year, compared with the US per capita income of $34,500 per year.

China Mobile now has more subscribers (327 million) than the United States has citizens (302 million). And we smug US folk have the temerity to call ourselves enlightened!

We should note that the vast majority of new Chinese mobile subscribers (over 5 million new prepaid plans in May) are on prepaid plans, rather than the contract payment plans we favor in the US. “Many Chinese spend a greater percentage of monthly income on pre-paid phone cards than Americans spend on food. This says a lot about the perceived importance of telecommunications in that society,” says Julie Pohlig, senior analyst at Vital Wave Consulting.

A whole lot of new digital Identities are being added to the universe of electronic communications each month. It is not hard to imagine that the first Internet experience most of these new Chinese subscribers will have will be via a mobile phone, not a PC. I also think this speaks volumes about how Chinese central political control will continue to diminish over the next several years. Freedom always thrives in an environment of open communications.

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3 Responses to “China Mobile adds 5.28 million subscribers in May”

    Truly staggering indeed. And as Al Hammond of the World Resource Institute writes, “the share of household spending devoted to information communications technology (ICT) rises remarkably as incomes rise — and this pattern is found in varying degrees in nearly every country for which data is available. That is what is behind the 6 million new mobile customers a month being added in India, and fairly similar comparable growth rates in China and Africa. In effect, the value of ICT services to the bottom of the pyramid is so high, that there is very high latent demand. Given that most rural areas do not yet have access to mobile services, there is still a lot of growth to come.”

    The best is yet to come.

    http://www.nextbillion.net/blogs/2007/03/21/tn4b-how-mobile-phone-companies-have-cracked-the-bop-code

    Comment by Noel on June 20, 2007 at 9:13 pm

    It’s true that people here in China value telecommunications. I remember when I lived in the US I would sometimes leave my cell phone at home and it was no big deal. Now that I live in China I can hardly imagine going an hour without my cell phone by my side.

    BTW I subscribed to your RSS feed and enjoy the posts a lot!

    Comment by melanie gao on June 25, 2007 at 9:22 pm

    Thanks for stopping by and sharing your perspective on the importance of cell phone communications. I appreciate your insight from within China.

    Comment by Mark Dixon on June 26, 2007 at 5:36 am

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