Report: China Mobile Eyes 60M Users by End 2000

TOKYO (01/26/2000) - China Mobile Communications Corp., the cellular telephone operator recently spun off from China Telecom Ltd., is targeting the acquisition of 20 million new subscribers in 2000, China's state-run Xinhua news agency reported today.

If the target is attained, it would give China Mobile 60 million subscribers and reinforce the company's position as one of the largest cellular telephone network operators in the world.

The company also plans to sign additional roaming agreements with an additional 30 operators in 18 nations to give its customers the ability to use their telephones on any of 110 networks in 65 countries, Xinhua said.

Revenues from its cellular service are expected to hit 180 billion renminbi (US$21.7 billion) in 2000 with service income at 103.8 billion renminbi, the report said.

China Mobile is also planning to expand its switching capacity by 28 million lines to 99.95 million lines and increase the number of wireless channels it operates by 1.2 million channels to 3.44 million channels. To accomplish this expansion, it plans to invest 61.6 billion renminbi in fixed assets in 2000, said Xinhua.

China Mobile was spun off from China Telecom as part of a government-led reorganization which saw the carrier split into several new companies. The cellular operator has both GSM (global system for mobile communications) and CDMA (code division multiple access) based networks but the vast majority of its customers are on GSM-based services.

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