KT posted its first year-on-year increase in mobile service revenue in seven quarters, on the back of rapid uptake of 5G services and rising ARPU.
In Q3, mobile service revenue rose 1 per cent to KRW1.66 trillion ($1.43 billion), its first annual growth in the metric since Q4 2017.
Although ARPU of KRW31,912 was down 0.4 per cent on an annual basis, a 0.5 per cent sequential improvement marked its third consecutive quarter-on-quarter increase.
In an earnings call, CFO Yoon Kyung-keun said KT expects year-on-year ARPU growth in Q4.
The operator ended September with 1.06 million 5G subscribers, 4.8 per cent of its total subscriber base of 21.77 million, which grew 6.8 per cent year-on-year. It forecast 1.5 million 5G subs by year-end.
Yoon said 85 per cent of 5G customers signed up for the top-tier unlimited plans.
With the 5G service launched in April, its LTE subscriber numbers declined as customers migrated to the next-generation network, reducing its 4G base by around 22,000 since end-March.
Net income fell 10.9 per cent to KRW213 billion, impacted by a surge in capex and a 23.4 per cent increase in marketing expenses to KRW711 billion. Operating revenue increased 4.5 per cent to KRW6.21 trillion, with a 35.7 per cent rise in merchandise sales offsetting a 0.8 per cent decline in overall service turnover.
Revenue at its wireline business dipped 1.5 per cent to KRW1.17 trillion, while the media and content unit posted a 13.8 per cent increase to KRW701 billion.
In the first nine months, capex reached KRW2.1 trillion, surpassing the KRW1.98 trillion spent in 2018. Access networks accounted for 72 per cent of the total. It deployed 63,000 5G base stations, with coverage reaching 85 cities.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back