China is already the biggest mobile market in the world, and it's only getting bigger, as the country's three state-owned telecom companies revealed a 1.2 percent increase in subscribers in January. In total China's mobile subscriber base grew to 987.58 million in January, though only a small percentage of those are 3G subscribers. The world's largest provider, China Mobile, grew by 5.87 million in January to reach 655.44 million subscribers — over six times as many customers as Verizon in the US, which hit 108.7 million subscribers at the end of 2011. And there's even more room for China Mobile to grow: only 53.94 million of its customers are on 3G. It's the same for number two carrier China Unicom, which has 202.89 total subs but only 43.07 on 3G, and for number three China Telecom, which rounded out the list with 129.25 million subscribers overall, 38.7 million of which are on 3G. But with the popularity of 3G devices in China those numbers will only continue to grow — the January launch of the iPhone 4S was so popular massive crowds postponed the launch at stores in Beijing and Shanghai.
Chinese mobile subscribers grew to 987.58 million in January
All three of China's state-owned telecom operators saw growth in January, with overall subscriber numbers up 1.2 percent.