Here (below) are the top ten telecoms by subscribers. No surprise that China Mobile comes in at #1 with 478 million subscribers. It should be noted that an estimated 279 million of China Mobile’s total are “prepaid” – not on any contract (pay-as-you-go services). Apple’s rumored (yet to be announced) carrier partner China Unicom, comes in at the number 5 spot with 137.7 million subscribers. Like China Mobile, a healthy share of China Unicom’s customers are prepaid.
The top US carrier, Verizon, barely made it on the list (10th). Deutsche Telekom makes the list in 6th place (T-Mobile US is owned by Deutsche Telekom).
World’s largest wireless telecom carriers by subscriber-base:
- China Mobile 478.8 million
- Vodafone Group 247.3 million
- Telefonica Group 190.1 million
- America Movil Group 174.9 million
- China Unicom 137.7 million
- Deutsche Telekom Group (T-Mobile) 127.1 million
- Telnor Group 96.6 million
- Airtel (Bharti) 93.9 million
- MTS Group 92.2 million
- Verizon Wireless 86.6 million