Vodafone Crosses 200M Subscriber Mark; China Mobile Still the No.1

UK mobile phone giant Vodafone Group reported that it had crossed the 200 million subscriber mark in January. The firm added a net 8.7 million new customers in its fiscal third quarter to December 31, taking its total to 198.6 million at the end of 2006. 

China Mobile continues to be the world's largest mobile network, with 301.2 million subscribers at the end of last year, more than the population of the United States which stood at 300.9 million.

Chief Executive Arun Sarin said it took 15 years to get the first 100 million customers and just 5 years to get the next 100 million. 

Vodafone has a 10% stake in India's biggest mobile operator Bharti Airtel, and now looking for a controlling stake in India's fourth-biggest mobile operator Hutchison Essar. India is adding around 6 million new subscribers every month, and has plenty of room to grow with its customer base still around 150 million.

Vodafone also owns 44% of Verizon Wireless in U.S., the US network and is including 44% of Verizon’s subscribers in its figures.

Verizon Wireless added 2.3 million net wireless subscribers in the fourth quarter, a 12.7% increase from the fourth quarter in 2005, to end 2006 with 59.1 million total subscribers.


Cingular, the largest US carrier, added 2.4 million net subscribers in the fourth quarter and ended 2006 with 61 million total subscribers.

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