Business revenues in China's telecommunications sector fell 4 percent to 89.1 billion yuan (14.5 billion U.S. dollars) in October.
During the January-October period, the telecom sector also saw slower revenue growth. Total revenues hit 975.5 billion yuan, up 4.7 percent year on year, however, the growth rate was down by 0.9 percentage points from that registered in the first three quarters, according to data released by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).
The MIIT said that the slowdown was mainly due falling revenues from voice services, which dropped 4.5 percent year on year. It said that the plunge of short messaging services had affected revenues, with the rise of new messaging services provided by Internet firms such as Tencent's WeChat that use data flow.
In contrast, telecom operators' non-voice businesses, such as data and Internet services, reported revenues totaling 56.5 billion yuan in the first ten months of the year, up 12.4 percent year on year.
The non-voice services have account for nearly 58 percent of telecom sector's total revenue.
By October, the nation's mobile phone users totaled 1.28 billion. Meanwhile, 835 million users are accessing the Internet through their mobiles.