China: 300 Million Mobile Users by 2005

The Chinese Ministry for Industry has released new figures which demonstrate the vast scale of the mobile market in China, and its potential for growth.

Although the percentage of mobile phone owners in China will still be relatively low at just 24.5% of the population in 2005, this will still mean 300 million subscribers. In contrast, approximately 65% of Europeans own a mobile phone, with the US catching up at 50%.

Currently, China’s 295,700,000 mobile phones account for half of all money spent communications. There are still another 800 million potential customers to reach, though the barriers of bringing access to rural areas and the cost of services must yet be dealt with.

Chinese mobile users send 300 million text messages a day – accounting for one third of the World’s total 510 billion of SMS sent every in 2003. Not bad for something that was tacked onto GSM as a afterthought and costs network operators virtually nothing to handle.

China Mobile

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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?