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By Revenue, China Mobile Is World’s Largest Telecom Company

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Company overview

In this series, we look to compare the performance of US-based telecom (telecommunication) companies, primarily AT&T (T) and Verizon (VZ), with the performance of ADRs (American Depositary Receipts) such as China Mobile (CHL) and Vodafone (VOD) that are listed in US ETFs.

AT&T is the largest US telecom company by market capitalization. As of August 21, 2015, it was the second-largest telecom company in the world, after China Mobile, by market capitalization. AT&T has the largest US wireline operation. It’s second to Verizon in wireless operation both in terms of revenue and in terms of its total base of postpaid and prepaid customers in 2Q15.

Verizon and AT&T are integrated players. They have wireless and wireline segments. In the United States, Verizon is the market leader in the wireless space. It had a postpaid wireless base of ~103.7 million at the end of 2Q15.

AT&T is the second-largest company in the United States. It had ~76.5 million postpaid subscribers and connections at the end of 2Q15. In wireline segments, AT&T has the largest operations in the United States, and Verizon has the second largest.

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China Mobile leads in revenues

China Mobile is the largest telecom carrier. It had a market capitalization of ~$244.53 billion on September 6, 2015. AT&T, the second-largest telecom company, had a market capitalization of ~$204.21 billion on the same date. Verizon is the third-largest global telecom company by market capitalization. It had a market capitalization of ~$187.06 billion. Vodafone is the fourth-largest global telecom company by market capitalization.

In terms of ETF exposure, Verizon represented ~1% of the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY). It accounted for ~4.60% of the Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) as well.

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