The number of mobile phone subscribers in China reached a record 383 million at the end of October, the Ministry of Information Industry announced.

That number represented an increase of 48.2 million subscribers since the end of 2004. On average, China has recorded 4.82 million new cellular phone subscribers each month during the first 10 months of this year, Xinhua, China’s main government-run news agency, reported.

At the end of October, there were 29.1 mobile phones for every 100 Chinese.

Ministry officials said the number of short text messages rose 40.1 percent year-on-year, to more than 246.6 billion messages during the first 10 months.

Statistics from the information ministry indicated there were 731 million mobile phone users and fixed-line users at the end of October. China’s cell phone users outnumbered fixed-line phone subscribers for the first time in October 2003.

China imported its first mobile phone telecom facilities in 1987, and it took a decade for the number of subscribers to reach 10 million, Xinhua reported. Four years later, the number of mobile Chinese phone subscribers ranked first in the world.

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