In Brief:China Mobile 1H profit up 5.6% on 4G customer growth 

China Mobile's first half net profit jumped 5.6% on last year thanks to continued strong growth in 4G customers, which now represent more than half of the operator's overall mobile customer base.
China Mobile ended June with 837.04 million mobile customers. Of that total, 428.54 million, or 51.2%, are 4G customers. At the end of June 2015, those figures stood at 817.2 million and 189.66 million respectively.
"China Mobile has focused its promotional efforts towards 4G upgrades," said China Mobile chairman Shang Bing.In the first half of 2016, the monthly average net increase of 4G customers was over 19 million."

***India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has suspended spectrum sharing, trading and liberalisation activity until the upcoming spectrum auction has been concluded. The news outlet cites unnamed sources as saying that the move is intended to drive up participation in the spectrum auction, which will see frequencies across the 700MHz, 800MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz, 2100MHz, 2300MHz and 2500MHz bands and worth a combined INR5.6 trillion (USD84 billion).‘The Spectrum Trading Guidelines… would remain suspended during the time of conduct of auction i.e. from the date of issue of Notice Inviting Applications(NIA)for auction of spectrum to the date of publishing of provisional result of the auction,the DoT’s amended spectrum sharing and trading guidelines notes. The suspension is likely to throw a spanner in the works for the three-way merger between Reliance Communications (RCOM), Sistema Shyam Teleservices (SSTL) and Aircel, negotiations for which are still under way.

***Norwegian-owned cellco Telenor Pakistan has launched its 4G network in the nation’s six largest cities, offering users free access for a limited time. Providing customers with theoretical peak download speeds of up to 150Mbps, is available in selected areas of Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, Multan, and Faisalabad as well as parts of the Swat district. Both pre-paid and post-paid subscribers can access the network but require a compatible handset and 4G SIM; Telenor is offering to replace customers’ existing SIMs for 4G SIM cards for free at its retail outlets. The LTE network uses the 2×10MHz of spectrum in the 850MHz band that the cellco purchased earlier this year for USD395 million, having entered the only valid bid for the concession. In a related development, Telenor’s Chinese-owned rival China Mobile Pakistan (CMPak), which operates under the Zong banner, has extended its 4G network to more than 100 cities.

***The worldwide tablet market fell an additional 16% in Q2 2016, as shipments dropped to their lowest point in three years. 35 million tablets shipped in Q2, as Apple managed to increase its share to 28% at the top of the market. Samsung continues to occupy the second spot, shipping almost 6 million units for a 16% share of the market. Lenovo and Huawei took the third and fourth spots, with both shipping just over 2 million units and taking 7% and 6% market share respectively. Android shipments suffered the biggest hit, falling some 23% globally, as volumes were impacted by significant declines in many Asia Pacific and Latin American markets.

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