China predicted Monday that the nation's number of wireless telephone subscribers would reach 440 million this year.
The Information Industry Ministry expected another 48 million Chinese to join the subscriber rolls, giving about one-third of China's population access to a cell phone, the Xinhua news agency reported.
Last year more than 58 million Chinese subscribed to wireless service.
The growth rate will mean continued good times for the telecom industry in China, one of the world's key markets, with 2006 revenues expected to climb 10 percent to 700 billion yuan ($87.5 billion), Xinhua said.
Copyright 2006 by United Press International