Chinese full-service provider China Telecom has published its annual results for the year to end-December 2020, registering a 4.7% increase in operating revenue to CNY393.6 billion (USD60.4 billion). Mobile service revenue grew by 3.5% year-on-year to CNY181.7 billion whilst turnover from wireline services increased by 5.5% y-o-y to CNY192.1 billion. Annual EBITDA grew by 1.4% to CNY118.9 billion and net profit for the year rose by 1.6% to CNY20.9 billion. Telecom attributed the growth to its use of 5G technology and uptake of 5G-enabled services, claiming that its 5G cloud phone ‘e-Surfing One’ had ‘leveraged the capabilities of cloud-network integration to break through performance bottlenecks for devices and facilitated the accelerating popularisation of 5G devices.’ The telco added that its 5G consumer service had achieved a ‘promising start’, counting 86.5 million 5G package subscribers alongside more than 150 million subscribers to applications featuring 5G. Its total mobile subscriber base rose to 351.02 million as at end-December 2020, up from 335.57 million twelve months earlier. In the fixed segment, meanwhile, the operator claimed a total of 158.53 million broadband subscribers, up from 153.13 million a year earlier. Broadband access ARPU also grew by 0.8% y-o-y to CNY38.4.
Regarding its plans for 2021, the operator has outlined planned CAPEX of CNY39.7 billion for 5G development – compared to its CNY39.2 billion 5G CAPEX for 2020 – with a goal of reaching 700,000 base transceiver stations (BTS) in use by the end of the year, up from 380,000 in use at end-2020.