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20% rise in Guangdong's telecom business
Latest Updated by 2007-02-05 11:02:33
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20% rise in Guangdong's telecom business

Guangdong's communications businesses maintained a very bullish development momentum in 2006, with the business turnover reaching 255.37 billion yuan ($32.74 billion).

The figure represented a 20.4 percent rise from 2005 and was equal to 17.5 percent of the nation's total business turnover.

"The booming business speaks again for the position of the province as a leader of China's communications industry," said Gu Weizhong, head of Guangdong Communication Administration, during a recent communication industry seminar in Guangzhou.

Gu attributed the communications businesses' sustained growth to local operators' efforts to diversify businesses for new growth points and to improve service.

He said both China Telecom's Guangdong branch and China Mobile's Guangdong branch involved themselves very actively in the province's program to digitalize Guangdong in rural areas.

The two branches poured capital inputs worth 1.6 billion yuan ($205.13 million) last year to expand service networks in the rural areas.

China Telecom's Guangdong branch has realized the target to provide telephone services to each household in villages that have over 20 households as well as broadband service to every large village, he said.

China Mobile's Guangdong branch also set up more than 2,300 base station subsystems in rural areas in 2006, marking another step forward on its way to extending the mobile phone access to any village, where over 100 people live, by 2008.

The mobile phone firm also provided 3 million rural subscribers with free text messages.

Likewise, China Unicom's Guangdong branch initiated its pilot service projects in the rural areas in Shaoguan and Maoming and made much headway in 2006.

Currently about 8,800 small villages in the province have no telecom service, while about 7,000 large villages have no broadband.

"Their efforts contributed a lot to the province's program to digitalize the rural areas across the province, which was kicked off in 2003 when the provincial government earmarked 35 million yuan ($4.49 million) each year for the next five years," the official said. "They in the meantime found new growth points for their business development."

Official statistics indicate that Guangdong's telecom communications sector raked in business turnover of 98.98 billion yuan ($12.69 billion) in 2006, rising 8.5 percent from a year ago and making up 15.3 percent of the nation's total business turnover.

The province had 71.18 million mobile phone subscribers by late 2006, up 11.1 percent from 2005; and 36.39 million fixed-line phone subscribers, up 5.7 percent.

The province has 5.75 million broadband subscribers and 27.23 million mobile GPRS (general packet radio service) subscribers.

Editor: Yan

By: Zhan Lisheng Source: China Daily Website
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