China Mobile announces plans for acquisitions

China’s leading carrier, China Mobile, is looking to expand its business through acquisitions the company has revealed. Company chairman Xi Guohua said during the operator’s financial results announcement that it will “look for appropriate external investment opportunities in an active but cautious manner,” as well as looking to increase its presence in the market.

For the six months to the end of June, China Mobile recorded a profit of RMB57.8bn () down 8.5 per cent from RMB63bn a year ago. But this reflected heavy investment in network infrastructure over the course of the year.

Revenue hit RMB297bn compared to RMB284bn a year ago, an increase of 4.7 per cent. The company’s subscriber base hit 790 million, up 6.8 per cent year on year. The number of 4G LTE customers increased significantly from 13.943 million as of 30 June 2014 to 20.437 million as of 31 July 2014.

“Aligned with the booming increase in data traffic demand, we launched various tariff plans with an emphasis on data traffic and has achieved strong business growth,” the company said.

Mobile data traffic increased by 91.4 per cent compared with the same period last year. Revenue from wireless data traffic increased by 51.8 per cent compared with the same period last year, contributing to 24.2 per cent of telecommunications services revenue. Revenue derived from data traffic became a major driver of revenue growth, China Mobile said.

In the first half of 2014, a total of 120 million TD handsets (including TD-SCDMA and TD-LTE standards) were sold through all distribution channels, accelerating the migration of customers
from 2G to 3G and 4G networks. Currently, 3G/4G data traffic is 44 per cent of the total mobile data traffic.

The company also said it put in use 410,000 base stations covering more than 300 cities, and built up the “world’s largest” 4G network.

“We will further accelerate network construction to achieve continuous coverage in almost all cities
and county-level cities as well as effective network coverage in key villages and towns in
mainland China by the end of this year, and endeavour to carry out trial commercialization of
VoLTE, consolidating our first-mover advantage in 4G services,” Xi Guohua said.

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