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China Telecom (NYSE:CHA) announced today it recorded a net decrease of 920,000 fixed-line and personal handy-phone system [PHS] subscribers in March 2008, the eighth consecutive month in which the company has recorded such a fall.

China Telecom's fixed-line and PHS subscriber base has been declining continuously since August 2007. The operator attributed the net decrease in subscribers to intense market competition. It also said it is working to shift its focus to mid- to high-end users, which means a decrease in low-end subscribers while it devotes energy and resources to targeting high-end subscribers.

As of the end of March 2008, China Telecom (CHA) had 162.42 million fixed-line subscribers and 54.75 million PHS subscribers.

In contrast to the decline in fixed-line and PHS subscribers, China Telecom HK added 730,000 broadband subscribers in March, pushing its total broadband subscriber base to 37.71 million.

In the first quarter of 2008, China Telecom (CHA) lost 470,000 household fixed-line subscribers and 3.29 million PHS subscribers while gaining 600,000 government and enterprise household fixed-line subscribers. The number of public telephones is operates remained the same as that recorded at the end of 2007. It also added 2.06 million broadband subscribers in the first quarter.

China Telecom local access line subscriber statistics, December 2007 - March 2008

Month

Local Access Lines in Services * (mln)

Net Addition for the Month (mln)

Cumulative Net Addition for the Year (mln)

December 2007

220.33

-1.48

-2.71

January 2008

219.11

-1.22

-1.22

February 2008

218.09

-1.02

-2.24

March 2008

217.17

-0.92

-3.16

Source: China Telecom

* includes Wireless Local Access Lines [PHS]

China Telecom broadband subscriber statistics, December 2007 - March 2008

Month

Broadband Subscribers (mln)

Net Addition for the Month (mln)

Cumulative Net Addition for the Year (mln)

December 2007

35.65

0.60

7.33

January 2008

36.27

0.62

0.62

February 2008

36.98

0.71

1.33

March 2008

37.71

0.73

2.06

Source: China Telecom

Source: China Telecom Loses 920k Subscribers in March