Hong Kong-based cellco SmarTone has released its results for the six months ended 31 December 2009. Total revenue decreased by 7% year-on-year to HKD1.81 billion (USD233 million), reflecting lower handset and accessory sales, and a 2% decline in services revenue. EBITDA improved by 7% to HKD517 million as a result of the reduction in interconnection charges and cost control measures, and net profit attributable to equity holders increased by 112% to HKD111 million. Total customer numbers climbed by 8% to 1.231 million as of 31 December 2009, of which just over 70% were post-paid customers. Post-paid churn rate improved to 1.5% from 2.0% in the same period of 2008. Blended ARPU fell by 7% to HKD214 in the six-month period (the company’s fiscal first half), compared to HKD230 a year earlier, reflecting continued downward pressure on local tariffs and lower roaming revenue. Data service revenue increased by 23% year-on-year and accounted for 33% of service revenue in the period under review. The company added that its HSPA+ network is already 28.8Mbps-ready, whilst network speeds will increase to 42Mbps in 2010, paving the way for 80Mbps and even higher speeds with the implementation of 4G LTE services. Meanwhile, SmarTone Macau was awarded a 3G licence in September 2009 and 3G services are expected to be launched on the island in 2010.