China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile provider by subscribers has recorded a net profit of CNY65.6 billion (USD9.6 billion) for the first six months of 2018, representing an increase of 4.7% year-on-year. Operating revenue totalled CNY391.8 billion (up 2.9% y-o-y) whilst EBITDA grew by 3.7% to CNY145.9 billion. In operational terms, Mobile continues to see strong subscriber growth across the board, with its total wireless user base crossing the 900 million milestone to reach 906 million by 30 June 2018 – of which 677 million or nearly three-quarters (74.7%) were 4G subscribers – whilst fixed broadband subscriptions grew by 42.1% y-o-y to 128 million. Handset data revenue remains a key driver of growth for the company, making up 55.5% of the company’s service revenue; handset data traffic grew 152.9% to 12,219 PB, whilst average monthly data use (DOU) also more than doubled from 1,108 MB in H1 2017 to 2,622 MB. In the household market, meanwhile, service revenue grew by 26.1% y-o-y to CNY21.9 billion – or just over 6% of total service revenue – driven by subscriber uptake and an increase in ARPU from CNY32.4 to CNY34.8.
Looking ahead, the company commented on its plans for 5G development: ‘We have … attached high importance to 5G research and development, as well as 5G trial tests. Following our participation in the finalisation of the first set of international 5G technology standards in the first half of 2018, we will continue to proactively roll out trial tests on the 5G network and other tests on 5G applications in the second half of 2018, as well as investing resources into the 5G Joint Innovation Centre and studying the possibility of cross-industry integration and applications that will speed up the commercialisation of the 5G technology. We are keen to generate returns on our investments and will plan our future investments on 5G taking into consideration the level of maturity of the industry and business models that emerge.’