China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile phone carrier, announced today that its first-quarter profits are up 37%. China has the largest population of mobile users, with around 520 million accounts. The government of China predicts that this number will increase to 600 million in the near future.
China Mobile posted a profit of 24.1 billion yuan ($3.4 billion) in the first-quarter that ended on March 31. Subscriptions rose 6% for a total of 392 million. New accounts accelerated by 33% to 7.6 million per month in the quarter, driven mostly by new business in rural China. China’s eastern cities are near the saturation point, so the company is targeting the countryside.
The government will soon issue third-generation (3G) licenses allowing the support of mobile video, faster mobile internet and other services and will further increase the revenue and profit potential for all the mobile operators in China.