Chinese full-service provider China Telecom has reported operating revenue of CNY193.8 billion (USD27.9 billion) for the first six months of 2020, up from CNY190.5 billion in H1 2019. Service revenue grew by 2.5% year-on-year to CNY187.1 billion, including CNY90.5 billion from mobile services. EBITDA and net profit, meanwhile were both largely stable, with the former dipping 0.2% to CNY63.2 billion and the latter inching up by 0.3% to CNY13.9 billion. The operator claimed that it had ‘proactively responded’ to the COVID-19 pandemic, while ‘actively embracing technological integration and innovation’, referring to its continued 5G network rollout and marketing drive and cloudification project.
Regarding its 5G efforts, Telecom said its promotion of the new platform centred around its enrichment of 5G content, with the company focusing on user applications such as augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), cloud gaming and ultra HD video, making available hundreds of cloud games and over 1,000 VR or ultra HD videos. As a result, the company was able to sign up 37.8 million users to its 5G packages by end-June 2020, representing 11% of its total mobile user base of 343.5 million. Further, Telecom noted that the development has helped reverse the decline in mobile ARPU, with ARPU for H1 2020 edging up to CNY44.4 from CNY44.2 in H2 2019 although the figure was still down from CNY46.9 y-o-y.
In the fixed broadband segment China Telecom said it captured ‘upgrade demand for family informatisation in areas such as online education, remote office and video entertainment’. Consequently the company saw an upsurge in broadband ARPU – although the values remained at or below their H1 2019 levels – with broadband access ARPU increasing 4.6%% from H2 2019 to CNY38.3 and blended broadband ARPU (i.e. including revenue from applications and Smart Family services) surging back to the CNY44.2 recorded in H1 2019, after dipping to CNY40.9 in H2 2019. The operator counted a total of 154.1 million broadband subscribers at end-June 2020, up from 153.1 million a year earlier.