China Telecom, the country’s third largest mobile operator, posted brisk profit growth in the first six months of the year as it recorded double-digit gains in mobile revenue and a rising 4G market share.
Net profit rose 8.1 per cent year-on-year to CNY13.6 billion ($1.9 billion) on operating revenue of CNY193 billion, up 4.7 per cent. A 10.3 per cent jump in mobile turnover drove a 7 per cent increase in service revenue to CNY178 billion.
Mobile accounted for 47 per cent of total service revenue in H1, up from 45.6 per cent in H1 2017. Wireline service revenue increased 4.2 per cent.
Yang Jie, China Telecom chairman, said: “The rapid development of various new technologies including 5G, artificial intelligence and big data will assist in the rapid upgrade of the industry and foster the digital economy development.”
He noted the domestic mobile and broadband markets still have vast growth potential as demand for data traffic will undergo explosive growth and emerging businesses will experience rapid development. But he cautioned instensifying market competition is squeezing the industry’s growth potential.
“New technologies and new business models will continue to emerge, bringing new challenges on industry value. There are pressing needs for corporates to promptly explore new business models and new revenue growth points,” he said.
The operator added 65 million 4G subscribers from H1 2017 to end June with 217 million. Total mobile subs increased by 51.6 million to nearly 282 million. The company said its 4G market share rose to 19.8 per cent from 17.2 per cent.
However, 4G ARPU dropped 13.2 per cent year-on-year to CNY58.30: overall mobile ARPU also weakened, falling 7.7 per cent to CNY52.40.
Capex fell 20 per cent to CNY32.9 billion in H1, with full-year capex forecast to fall 15.5 per cent to CNY75 billion. The operator said it deployed a total of 1.2 million base stations, giving it 98 per cent population coverage.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back