China Mobile warned gains fuelled by its 5G business could prove a double-edged sword in terms of increased expenses, as it revealed growth in key metrics for the first quarter.
In an earnings statement, chairman Yang Jie said following its large-scale 5G network deployment, it expects corresponding depreciation and electricity expenses to increase at relatively high rates.
The operator ended March with 189 million 5G package customers compared with 31.7 million in Q1 2020 and for the first time revealed it had 92.8 million customers, defined as those using the next-generation network over the course of a month.
Surprisingly its 4G use base also grew during Q1, up 36 million year-on-year to 788 million.
Net profit increased 2.3 per cent to CNY24.1 billion ($3.7 billion), with total operating revenue rising 9.5 per cent to CNY198.5 billion.
The revenue growth was fuelled by a 67 per cent increase in handset sales to CNY20.8 billion, which the operator credited to a wider range of 5G models at more affordable prices. Telecoms service turnover increased 5.2 per cent to CNY177.7 billion.
Total subscribers fell by 6 million to 940 million. ARPU edged up 1.1 per cent to CNY47.40, while average monthly data usage increased 34.9 per cent to 11.2GB.
The volume of total voice minutes increased 8.3 per cent and SMS usage dropped 12.6 per cent.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back