China Unicom is a state-owned telecom operator in China. China Unicom is ranked as the world’s third-biggest mobile provider.
Rivals dispute CDMA claims
China Unicom's newly launched Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) service does not represent any material threat to its competitor as only 10 per cent of its claimed subscribers are active, according to rival China Mobile.
Managers of China Mobile's Guangdong branch made the comments about China Unicom's CDMA operations to a group of analysts visiting the company on Thursday.
'According to Guangdong Mobile Communications management, only 10 per cent of China Unicom's claimed CDMA subscribers are active, based on its interconnection records with China Unicom,' Credit Suisse First Boston analyst NiQ Lai said in his daily note released yesterday. 'In any case, [Guangdong Mobile] has not seen any material competitive impact from China Unicom's CDMA launch.'
The Guangdong mobile operation is the most profitable arm of China Mobile, accounting for about 30 per cent of its subscriber base.
China Unicom yesterday dismissed China Mobile's comments as groundless.
'What analysts' quoted the Guangdong Mobile management as saying about our CDMA service is absolutely groundless and is factually incorrect,' a China Unicom spokesman said.
'Our first-quarter operation statistics show that the arpu [average revenue per user] was 119.6 yuan [about HK$112]. This proves their comments are untrue.'
Earlier this week, China Unicom announced that its CDMA mobile service, which officially launched on January 8, had signed up 568,000 users in the first three months of operation.
The arpu for new CDMA users was 119.6 yuan while arpu for users of its former Great Wall network was 75.2 yuan.
The blended arpu per month was 81.8 yuan for CDMA users, compared to 73.8 yuan blended arpu for GSM users.
ABN Amro and HSBC Securities' analysts also quoted Guangdong Mobile as making similar comments about China Unicom's claimed CDMA subscriber numbers.