June 21, 2011 (Chinavestor) China Unicom (NYSE:CHU), the second largest Chinese mobile carrier, reported operational statistics for the month of May. The good news is that its smartphone subscriber base growth remained robust, while the rest of the business continued to humming along.Looking at 3G or smartphone subscriber base growth on the chart below, the trends remain impressive. The company added over 1.7 million new 3G users in May, the red line on the chart.
This is a significant difference between 2G subscriber growth, as seen on the chart below. China Unicom (NYSE:CHU) added just over 500K new 2G subscribers, less than a third of its 3G growth. Investors like to see strong 3G growth for its heftier profit margins and indication of future growth.
Meanwhile China is getting more wireless than wired. China Unicom (NYSE:CHU), and as a matter of fact China Telecom (NYSE:CHA) as well, have been loosing fixed line subscribers for years. China Unicom (NYSE:CHU) lost over 400,000 fixed line subscribers to give it a total of 95.4 million at the end of May.