China Mobile books net profit of CNY59bn as 5G user base reaches 127m

13 Aug 2021

China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile provider by subscribers, has booked operating revenue of CNY443.6 billion (USD68.5 billion) for the first six months of 2021, an increase of 13.8% year-on-year. Of that total, service revenue comprised CNY393.2 billion – up 9.8% y-o-y – driven by increases in turnover from fixed broadband services, applications and other services. Mobile voice revenue dipped from CNY41.2 billion in H2 2020 to CNY40.8 billion, whilst turnover from mobile data traffic was stable at CNY208.6 billion, compared to CNY208.1 billion in the same period of 2020. EBITDA for the period grew by 11.2% compared to H1 2020 to CNY162.0 billion, and net profit reached CNY59.1 billion, up from CNY55.8 billion a year earlier.

The operator recorded a small decrease in its mobile customer base, which fell to 945.51 million at end-June 2021 from 946.74 million twelve months earlier. Mobile ARPU grew to CNY52.2 from CNY50.3 over that same period, though, whilst average data traffic usage increased from 8.6GB to 11.9GB over the same period. In the fixed broadband segment, China Mobile saw its user base grow by 14.4% to 225.60 million, with ARPU similarly expanding rapidly to CNY36.1, from CNY31.7 in H1 2020.

In terms of 5G development, Mobile counted a total of 127.06 million 5G network subscribers – i.e. customers that actively use the 5G network, rather than ‘5G Package Customers’, which are simply customers signed up to a 5G plan – up from 92.76 million three months earlier, the first time the cellco reported the figure. ARPU for 5G subscribers for the period was CNY88.9, with customers using an average of 20.7GB of data per month. Mobile notes that its investment in 5G in H1 2021 totalled CNY50.2 billion, and by the end of June it had rolled out a cumulative total of 501,000 5G base stations, covering all urban areas of cities at prefecture level and above.

China, China Mobile