China, the world's most populous country, has more than 1 billion cell phone users, its official news agency Xinhua reported.
By the end of April, there are likely to be about 1.3 billion total users of phones of all types in China, according to data released Monday from the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. That means nearly 100 percent of the population has access to telephones and 75 percent own a mobile phone. The number of landline users fell by 828,000, to 284.3 million last year.
The data also reveal that 144 million people in China, or 14.3 percent of mobile users, had 3G access,
Over the past two years China has added 200 million cell phones. The country had 800 million cell phone users in the summer of 2010. By last April, the figure had grown to 900 million.
For the January-February period, the aggregate size of the communications industry in China was 202.7 billion yuan, or nearly $32.2 billion, a growth of 18.8 percent over the previous year.
Core business revenue of the communications industry for that same period was 160.6 billion yuan, an increase of 11.3 percent over the same period last year.
The net growth of new cell phone users decreased in the two-month period in Eastern and Central China, but surged in less-developed Western China, likely a result of the saturation of the market in the former two zones.
The Southern province of Guangdong, bordering Hong Kong, had the most cell phone users of any province in China, with 108.8 million.