Apple’s iPhone Fuels China Mobile’s 4G Subscriber Growth


New mobile subscriber data recently revealed by China Mobile (NYSE:CHL) showed that the carrier is continuing to reap the benefits of its partnership with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). According to China Mobile chief executive Li Yue, the carrier’s 4G network user base reached 2.8 million subscribers in the March quarter, reports Radio Television Hong Kong via Apple Insider. As noted by Li Yue, the increase in 4G usage was due in large part to the iPhone, with nearly half of the carrier’s 4G network subscriptions coming from iPhone users.

The latest data follows similar news revealed by China Mobile earlier this year. “We added 1.34 million new 4G users in February and most of them are iPhone users,” China Mobile chair Xi Gouhua told The Wall Street Journal in March. “We are happy with the progress as we are still building our 4G network and the coverage is only available in some major cities.”

According to China Mobile’s website, the world’s largest carrier has over 780 million total subscribers on its network. However, the vast majority of these subscribers are on the carrier’s 2G, 2.5G, and 3G networks. China Mobile is currently in the process of rolling out the world’s largest 4G network in order to stay competitive against smaller rival carriers such as China Unicom (NYSE:CHU) and China Telecom (NYSE:CHA). Apple officially launched its iPhone on China Mobile’s network in January of this year and the Cupertino-based company’s latest iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C models feature the homegrown TD-LTE 4G standard and TD-SCDMA 3G standard used by China Mobile.