China United Telecommunications, the country's No 2 mobile phone carrier, has seen growth in subscribers for its code division multiple access (CDMA) network accelerate as aggressive promotions start to pay off. The company added 700,000 users in the 13 days to October 8, bringing the number of CDMA subscribers to 3.7 million. The figure, which surprised analysts, increases the chance that China United will be able to achieve a target of seven million users by the end of this year. Some analysts had expected to see growth slow during the 10-day national holiday. 'This is catching everybody by surprise,' SG Securities (HK) co-head of Asian telecom research Charle Peza said. 'Clearly, the aggressive promotions are starting to have an effect,' ABN Amro telecom analyst Joe Locke said. China United had 2.2 million registered users at the end of August, then added 800,000 in 25 days to reach the three-million milestone on September 25. China United president Wang Jianzhou was quoted by the China Securities Journal as saying it had 3.7 million users on October 8, implying it added another 700,000 users in just 13 days. If the trend continues, China United could easily add about 1.4 million to 1.5 million users a month, making the full-year target achievable. 'For the entire market, seven million is achievable, especially given the aggressive tactics the company has been employing in the [non-listed company] provinces,' Mr Locke said. Mr Wang expressed confidence the carrier could meet its target of seven million users by the end of the year. 'So long as we can ensure the supply of [CDMA mobile] handsets in the next three months, we shouldn't have any problem in reaching our target of seven million users,' Mr Wang was quoted by mainland media as saying. Mr Wang said he expected the CDMA operation to break even next year. Shares in China United and its Hong Kong-listed arm, China Unicom, edged down yesterday despite the positive CDMA data. The Shanghai-listed A share lost 1.39 per cent, while China Unicom closed at a new record low, after shedding 2.8 per cent yesterday. Analysts are concerned China United has been paying high costs to acquire CDMA users.