BARCELONA, Spain — Chinese carrier China Mobile was excited about its growth, but also concerned about how its network will support and make money from the explosive growth of data created by apps and the wireless Internet.
Chairman Wang Jianzhou gave a keynote speech this morning at Mobile World Congress.
The company is enormous, and growing quickly. It has 590 million subscribers. Smartphone owners make up only 13 percent, or 80 million of those subscribers, which means there is a large market opportunity for smartphone manufacturers and platform developers.
As a point of comparison, Verizon Wireless in the U.S., a more saturated market, has 94 million total subscribers.
“We still see huge net addition in rural areas although our penetration in urban areas has long surpassed 100 percent,” Wang said of the Chinese market.
To build capacity for data usage, the telecom is planning to build one million Wi-Fi hotspots in the next three years, and urged phone makers to include embedded Wi-Fi support in their handset designs.