Taiwan Mobile claimed to be the first on the island to reach 50 per cent 5G population coverage, with capex peaking in Q1 and 5G investment for the full-year now expected to be half the level of 2020.
Its 5G subscribers reached 600,000 at end-March, representing 10.4 per cent of post-paid subs. The operator said 5G ARPU is 26 per cent higher than from users migrating from 4G plans.
In an earnings statement, president Jamie Lin said Taiwan’s second largest operator is growing at full speed and expects to further accelerate as its three main growth engines – 5G, its e-commerce subsidiary Momo and broadband – continue to gain traction. “As a result, we are on track to reach our 2021 guidance for consolidated EBITDA.”
Net profit fell 15 per cent year-on-year to TWD2.83 billion ($100.7 million), with higher 5G depreciation and amortisation costs and a subsequent rise in marketing costs weighing on the bottom-line. Higher handset subsidies introduced with 48-month handset bundle plans also raised costs.
Consolidated revenue grew 11 per cent to TWD35.3 billion, driven by its core telecom business stabilising and strong growth in e-commerce. A 12 per cent rise in device sales to TWD4.75 billion more than offset a 2 per cent decline in service revenue to TWD11.2 billion.
Revenue from Momo jumped 25 per cent to TWD17 billion.
Overall mobile subs inched up 1 per cent from a year earlier to 7.24 million, while blended ARPU dipped 3 per cent to TWD541.
Total capex in the quarter increased 80 per cent year-on-year to TWD2.93 billion, with the number of 5G base stations running on the 3.5GHz band exceeding 6,000.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back