China Telecom – the country’s largest fixed operator and third largest mobile provider – has posted a 4.7% year-on-year rise in total operating revenue to CNY193.029 billion (USD28.190 billion) in the first half of 2018, with underlying service revenue improving by 7.0% to CNY177.58 billion. Mobile service revenue in H1 2018 was CNY83.552 billion (up 10.3% y-o-y) and fixed network service revenue was CNY94.036 billion (up 4.2%). Six-month EBITDA climbed 6.5% y-o-y to CNY55.858 billion (although EBITDA margin remained almost flat – down 0.1 percentage point to 31.5%). Group net profit in January-June 2018 was 8.1% higher than a year before, at CNY13.570 billion.
China Telecom’s mobile subscribers grew by 31.66 million in six months, from 249.96 million at end-December 2017 to 281.62 million at 30 June 2018. The operator’s 4G LTE mobile user base increased by a net 35.27 million in the same period to reach 217.31 million. The company’s LTE mobile network covers 98% of the Chinese population via 1.2 million base stations.
Fixed broadband subscribers reached a total of 140.62 million at end-June 2018, up by 7.09 million from 133.53 million at the start of the year, including fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) customers which numbered 133.81 million at mid-2018 (a net increase of 7.64 million in six months).