China Telecom says 3Q profit up 10 percent

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SHANGHAI (AP) ? China Telecom Ltd.’s third-quarter profit rose 10 percent as its mobile phone business grew despite strong competition.

Profit for the three months ended Sept. 30 was 13.9 billion yuan ($2.2 billion). Revenue rose 11.8 percent to 182.4 billion yuan ($28.7 billion), the Beijing-based carrier said Friday.

Mobile phone revenue nearly doubled to 10.1 billion yuan ($1.6 billion), despite competition from rivals China Mobile Ltd. and China Unicom Ltd., while revenue for traditional fixed-line services declined.

China Telecom was long the country’s dominant phone carrier but fell behind China Mobile as customer demand shifted to wireless services. That prompted Beijing to restructure the industry into three groups in 2008, each with mobile and fixed-line assets, to revive competition and speed industry development.

The three rivals have focused on mobile phones and nontraditional services such as wireless Internet access to drive revenue growth as demand for traditional fixed-line services declines.

China Telecom said its number of mobile subscribers rose 41 percent over a year earlier to 116.95 million. The number of third-generation subscribers tripled to 28.4 million.

Robust growth of Internet and data services “effectively mitigated” the impact of a decline in the fixed-line business, the company said.

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