Full-service network operating giant China Telecom has reported its financial and operational results for the first three quarters of 2019, posting nine-month total revenues of CNY282.83 billion (USD40.02 billion), of which service revenues were CNY271.48 million, representing an increase of 2.5% over the same period of last year. 9M19 EBITDA reached CNY91.97 billion, up 13.8% year-on-year, and profit attributable to equity holders was CNY18.39 billion, down 3.4% y-o-y, although if excluding last year’s one-off gain from China Tower’s listing profit would have risen by 2.5%.
China Telecom’s mobile subscriber base reached 330 million at 30 September 2019, up from 294 million a year earlier, of which 4G users stood at 275 million (up from 230 million in September 2018), with handset data traffic increasing by 84.5% year-on-year. Its wireline broadband subscribers reached 153 million at the end of Q3, up from 144 million twelve months previously.
It is noteworthy that China Telecom has now overtaken rival China Unicom for second market place in terms of mobile user volume: Unicom reached 325 million mobile users in 3Q19 (including 251 million 4G), up from 310 million (214 million 4G) a year before, while China Mobile continues to lead the segment by a wide margin with 942 million cellular subscribers at the end of September.