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Tibet's mobile phone users exceed 2.6 mln

2014-02-13 07:48 Xinhua Web Editor: qindexing

The number of mobile phone users in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region has exceeded 2.6 million, according to a regional information and technology department.

By the end of 2013, Tibet had 2.65 million registered mobile phone users, accounting for nearly 89 percent of the total population of the high-altitude region, said Qingqi, director of the region's information and technology department, on Wednesday at a seminar.

The number of fixed-line phone users and mobile users totaled 3.05 million, accounting for almost 99.3 percent of the overall population, he said.

There are 964,000 3G mobile telecommunication users, added Qingqi.

The plateau region is known as "the roof of the world" due to its average altitude of over 4,000 meters, and building telecommunication infrastructure there is more difficult and costly than in other parts of China.

Zhang Qi, a tourist from Shanghai, was visiting Mount Namjagbarwa in the Nyingchi area. She uploaded photos online to share with friends and got dozens of replies within a few minutes.

"I thought there would be no signal here," Zhang said. "To my surprise, the network speed is fast."

Lhamo, a 27-year-old Tibetan woman who works at a restaurant in Lhasa, said the way she contacts her family in the Nyingchi area has changed dramatically.

"I used to write letters and send oral messages home. Then I called the fixed-line phone at the village office. Now I make phone calls daily and they can reach me anytime," Lhamo said, while chatting on a smartphone with her friends on WeChat, a popular instant messaging application.

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