China Mobile: A Solid Cash Flow Buy While The Company Marries Nokia And Continues To Court Apple [Seeking Alpha]

China Mobile Limited (CHL), founded in 1997, is an investment holding company, providing mobile telecommunications and related services through GSM networks. China Mobile ranks as the largest mobile carrier in the world with over 700 million subscribers. CHL is handicapped by using the less mature TD technology in 3G, which has forced the carrier to turn to lower-income rural areas for subscription growth. However, with its large scale efficiency and superior network coverage, CHL is a great investment target for cash flow for the long-term.

Network

China Mobile operates a GSM network, which covers all 31 provinces, autonomous regions, and directly administered municipalities in Mainland China, including Hong Kong. GPRS is utilized for data transmission. General Packet Radio Service, GPRS, is a service within the GSM network, just like the two most popular services SMS and voice connections. The company controls 70% of the Chinese mobile market but a far smaller percentage of the 3G market. As reported, “Even though China Mobile has 707.3 total wireless subscribers, making it the world’s largest carrier, the telecom has just 82.4 million 3G customers. China Mobile represents 64 percent of the total wireless subscribers in China, but only 37 percent of China’s 3G users – and its share shrunk from 41 percent of 3G users a year ago.” While China Mobile already has a relatively developed 4G “test” network, it cannot actually offer access to the network to subscribers in Mainland China until MIIT has issued it an operating permit, which now seems to be coming.

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