China Mobile reported a 0.1% year-on-year increase in total revenues to CNY389.9 billion (USD56.1 billion) in the first half of 2020, including service revenues which rose by 1.9% to CNY358.2 billion, although EBITDA dropped 3.6% to CNY145.7 billion while six-month net profit attributable to shareholders declined by 0.5% y-o-y to CNY55.8 billion. The company highlighted that, although COVID-19 brought major challenges, the pandemic also gave rise to a surge in demand for digitalisation in all industry sectors, creating new growth opportunities for the operator.
At 30 June 2020 China Mobile had a total of 946.74 million mobile customers, up quarter-on-quarter from 946.30 million at end-March 2020. 4G customers reached 759.72 million in June, up from 751.95 million q-o-q, while subscribers to 5G tariff plans shot up to 70.20 million at the end of 2Q20 from 31.72 million three months earlier. In the fixed network division, the operator added a net six million broadband subscribers in April-June 2020 for a total of 197.12 million internet accesses, including a residential broadband base of 181 million, of which 130 million (72%) also used its ‘Mobaihe’ HD/VoD set-top box service. China Mobile also reported that its number of corporate clients across all service segments reached 11.29 million at mid-2020, a net increase of 1.01 million from the end of 2019 (Q1 2020 figure not given), and it highlighted mobile cloud as a particular growth area, with revenues from this sub-segment leaping 556% y-o-y to CNY4.5 billion in H1 2020.
China Mobile had deployed and activated a cumulative total of 188,000 5G base stations in over 50 Chinese cities at 30 June 2020, and it expects to increase the figure to 300,000 by the year-end. It is also accelerating the construction of its 5G Standalone (SA) core network ‘to lay a foundation for achieving the scale commercialisation of SA within this year’.