China Mobile predicted continued gains in 5G network customer numbers over the second half, after doubling the number in H1 alongside booking double-digit profit and revenue growth.

The operator ended June with 263 million 5G network customers and expects to add another 130 million in the second half, when China Mobile forecast stable ARPU growth after the H1 figure was flat at CNY52.30 ($9.71).

Chairman Yang Jie explained in a statement that despite headwinds posed by rising cases of Covid-19 (coronavirus) and other external complexities, China Mobile stepped up efforts to take advantage of rapid growth in the digital economy.

Digital transformation revenue, covering enterprise, smart home and new businesses, increased 39.2 per cent to CYNY110.8 billion and accounted for 26 per cent of telecoms service revenue.

Mobile cloud sales rose 103.6 per cent to CNY23.4 billion, with more than 3,500 cloud services contracts in the bag by end-June.

Total mobile subscribers increased 2.6 per cent to 970 million, with 5G package customers doubling to 511 million.

Capex was 7 per cent higher at CNY92 billion, with CNY185.2 billion earmarked for the full year (unchanged from 2021). Of its 1 million 5G base stations, 300,000 were 700MHz sites.

Net profit increased 18.9 per cent to CNY70.3 billion, with operating revenue growing 12 per cent to CNY496.9 billion.

Mobile service revenue rose 2.7 per cent to CNY300.3 billion and product sales grew 39.8 per cent to CNY426.4 billion.