Full-service provider China Telecom has booked a 1.4% year-on-year dip in first quarter operating revenue to CNY94.79 billion (USD13.4 billion), whilst service revenue for Q1 2020 inched up by 0.7% y-o-y to CNY92.14 billion. Net profit for the period, meanwhile, was CNY5.89 billion, down by 1.9% from CNY6.00 billion a year earlier. The operator counted a total of 336.55 million mobile subscribers at the end of March 2020, compared to 335.57 million in the preceding quarter and 330.43 million at end-September 2019, with the operator attributing the slowdown in customer acquisition to the COVID-19 outbreak. Nevertheless, Telecom grew its 5G user base to 16.61 million, with net additions of twelve million during the three-month period, fuelling a 37.4% y-o-y increase in handset data traffic. The telco also claimed that it had slowed the reduction in ARPU during the quarter but did not provide details.
In the fixed segment Telecom reported a net reduction in broadband lines to 152.32 million from 153.13 million at end-December 2019, but its continued enrichment of it ‘Smart Family’ product and service portfolio – including ‘e-Surfing HD, Whole-home Wi-Fi, Family Cloud and e-Surfing Webcam’ – led to an 106.3% y-o-y increase in turnover from Smart Family applications and services. The company also recorded a slight reduction in the number of fixed telephony customers from 110.85 million at end-2019 to 110.20 million three months later.