China's telecommunications carriers posted a stronger-than-expected 20.3 per cent year-on-year increase in first-quarter revenue to 108.93 billion yuan (about HK$102.08 billion), according to the Ministry of Information Industry. The ministry forecast the telecom market to grow 12.1 per cent this year against 14.4 per cent last year. Mobile revenue surged 31.8 per cent to 54.98 billion yuan in the first quarter, contributing 50.5 per cent of the total, compared with 47.3 per cent last year. Revenue from data surged 74.2 per cent from a year ago to 6.48 billion yuan, the ministry said. However, long-distance and fixed-line telephone services recorded less impressive first-quarter figures. Fixed-line revenue grew 8 per cent to 35.21 billion yuan. Revenue from long-distance calls fell 0.9 per cent to 11.69 billion yuan. During the quarter, China added 26.91 million new telephone users. The monthly increase of 8.97 million was 1.01 million higher than last year's monthly average. Official figures show China added 11.42 million new fixed-line subscribers in the first quarter, bringing the total to 226 million. There were 15.49 million new mobile users for a total of 221 million. Based on the growth rates, China's mobile users could exceed fixed-line subscribers by the end of the second quarter. Meanwhile, capital investment in telecoms infrastructure rose by a year on year 13.5 per cent in the first quarter to 21.5 billion yuan. It has been widely expected that capital expenditure by telecom carriers would be about 5 per cent to 6 per cent less than last year. However, the first-quarter data indicates this may not be the case.