Chinese telco drives TD-LTE market as customer numbers exceed 8 million; China Telecom still reporting subscriber losses.
China Mobile had a 4G customer base of 8.11 million at the end of May having added over 3 million new users in just one month.
The telco, the world's biggest mobile operator and a key driver of the TD-LTE 4G standard, recorded 3.31 million 4G net additions last month,
compared with just over 2 million in April. China Mobile launched its 4G service in December.
According to the Global mobile Suppliers Association, there are 300 LTE networks in commercial operation worldwide, of which 36 run on the TDD variant.
14 of those 36 are in the Asia-Pacific region, nine in the Middle East and Africa, and eight in Europe (see chart).
"Dozens more" LTE TDD networks are either in deployment or in the planning stages, the GSA notes.
In total, China Mobile had 787.3 million customers at the end of May, up by 2.7 million on the previous month and by just over 20 million since the start of the year.
It's a different story for China Telecom though, which is still suffering customer losses.
The smallest of the three Chinese operators saw its overall customer base decline by 950,000 in May to 181.2 million;
it has lost 4.36 million since the start of the year. The telco has had a statement on its Website for the past few months attributing the decline to increased competition as a result of the launch of LTE services in China as well as strong marketing from its rivals.
China Unicom, meanwhile, added 2.7 million customers in May to take its total base to 293.3 million.