& cplSiteName &

China Mobile Grows Profits on 4G Gains

Iain Morris
10/20/2016
50%
50%

China Mobile has reported another quarter of explosive growth in 4G subscriber numbers, with those gains fueling a rise in sales and profitability over the first nine months of the year.

The operator, which is the largest of China's three state-backed service providers, said it made 542.7 billion ($80.5 billion) in revenues between January and September -- 4.3% more than in the year-earlier period -- while profits (attributable to equity shareholders) rose by 3.1%, to RMB88.1 billion ($13.1 billion).

China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE: CHL) has added another 7 million mobile customers since reporting figures for the first six months, giving it 844 million in total, and it continues to extend its 4G lead over smaller rivals China Unicom Ltd. (NYSE: CHU) and China Telecom Corp. Ltd. (NYSE: CHA). (See China Mobile's 4G Boom Fuels Profit Growth.)

Figures show that 481 million customers are now using 4G services, 52 million more than in June.

The company has continued to dominate the 4G market despite the best efforts of its two competitors, which now lag China Mobile by some distance.

Yet to report results up to September, China Unicom issued a profit warning earlier this week in which it revealed that about 88.9 million customers are now in its 4G network. At the end of June, China Unicom had 72 million 4G customers and 261 million mobile customers in total.

China Telecom, which is also due to publish earnings later this month, had 210.5 million mobile customers at the end of August -- according to monthly updates -- including 101.4 million 4G customers. Since the start of the year, it has been adding 4G customers at a rate of about 5.4 million per month, making it look relatively pedestrian alongside China Mobile.


Want to know more about 4G LTE? Check out our dedicated 4G LTE content channel
here on Light Reading.


Nevertheless, while China Mobile has extended its 4G lead, its average revenue per user (ARPU) has been dropping as services are adopted by less affluent customers.

Monthly ARPU over the January-to-September period fell to RMB60 ($8.9) from RMB61.5 ($9.1) a year earlier.

The operator also said it was stepping up its efficiency measures to cope with growing demands on its business.

"There is a relatively high demand for resources from various fronts including the growth of 4G business, the development of wireline broadband as well as the deployment of digital services," it said in a statement. "The group proactively enhanced cost efficiency across its operations, deepened transformation of its sales and marketing model, and promoted more efficient use of resources."

Although it has trailed China Telecom in the fixed-line sector, China Mobile is also becoming increasingly active in this market, adding 8.4 million fixed broadband customers since the end of June to give it 74.24 million in total.

ARPU in that market has fallen slightly to RMB33 ($4.9) per month from RMB33.4 ($5) in the first nine months of 2015.

The company's share price closed down about 1% in Hong Kong earlier today, which could reflect the lingering investor concern about a slowdown in the Chinese market and what this means for China Mobile's prospects in coming months.

— Iain Morris, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, News Editor, Light Reading

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
From The Founder
NFV's promises of automation and virtualization are intriguing, but what really excites service providers is the massive amount of money they could save.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
VMWare VP Brings Women Up With Her

8|16|17   |   6:49   |   (0) comments


It's an art and a science to make mentorship, inclusive leadership, diversity and promotion of high-potential women work, says Honore' LaBourdette, vice president of Global Market Development at VMWare.
LRTV Custom TV
5G Spectrum Wars

8|15|17   |   2:22   |   (0) comments


Service provider Three has filed a lawsuit against Ofcom over 5G spectrum auction in the UK.
LRTV Custom TV
Say What? Facebook Unleashes AI Anarchy – The Recap

8|7|17   |     |   (0) comments


A recap of the week's talking points on Light Reading's sister site, telecoms.com. Facebook AI programmers had a bit of a brain-fade as they allowed one of its AI applications to invent its ...
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Fujitsu's Women Band Together to Help Girls Do STEM

8|2|17   |   9:35   |   (1) comment


Supporting women both inside and outside of Fujitsu is a top priority of the telecom vendor. Yanbing Li, Fujitsu Network Communication's director of System Software Development & Delivery, shares why it's important, but why there's still a long road ahead.
LRTV Custom TV
If You're Not First, You're Last – The Recap

7|31|17   |   08:18   |   (1) comment


In case you missed it, Amazon's 1% stock increase helped Jeff Bezos dethrone Bill Gates as the richest man in the world. Also, Taiwanese electronics manufacturer
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
AT&T's Tech President Preps Workforce for the Future

7|26|17   |   5:47   |   (10) comments


AT&T is focused on the software-defined network of the future and is reskilling its workforce to get ready too, according to AT&T's President of Technology Development Melissa Arnoldi.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Cisco: Mentoring Critical to Attract & Retain Women

7|19|17   |   6:40   |   (1) comment


Liz Centoni, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's Computing System Product Group, shares why mentoring in all its forms is important for women and what Cisco is doing that's made a difference for women in tech.
LRTV Custom TV
Gigabit LTE With Snapdragon 835

7|12|17   |     |   (1) comment


At an event in Wembley stadium, EE used its live network to demonstrate gigabit LTE using a Sony Xperia XZ Premium smartphone with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip.
LRTV Custom TV
Implementing Machine Intelligence With Guavus

7|12|17   |     |   (0) comments


Guavus unites big data and machine intelligence, enabling many of the the largest service providers in the world to save money and drive measureable revenue. Learn how applying Machine Intelligence substantially reduces operational costs and in many cases can eliminate subscriber impact, meaning a better subscriber experience and higher NPS.
LRTV Custom TV
Unlocking Customer Experience Insights With Machine Intelligence

7|12|17   |     |   (0) comments


When used to analyze operational data and to drive operational decisions, machine intelligence reduces the number of tasks which require human intervention. Guavus invested in Machine Intelligence early. Learn about the difference between Machine Learning and Machine Intelligence.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Verizon VP Talks Network, Career Planning

7|12|17   |   4:49   |   (0) comments


Heidi Hemmer, vice president of Technology, Strategy & Planning at Verizon, shares how bold bets and the future of tech define her career.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Masergy's NFV Journey

7|11|17   |     |   (0) comments


Ray Watson, vice president of global technology at Masergy, discusses the advantages and challenges in entering the still-maturing NFV market for the past three years.
Upcoming Live Events
September 28, 2017, Denver, CO
October 18, 2017, Colorado Convention Center - Denver, CO
November 1, 2017, The Royal Garden Hotel
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, UK
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Are Cord-Cutting's Days Numbered?
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 8/14/2017
Intel CEO Leaves Trump Biz Advisory Board
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 8/15/2017
Analyst Nolle: Fundamental Errors Plague NFV
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 8/11/2017
Snapchat Misses Estimates, Eyes Reality Shows
Aditya Kishore, Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation, 8/11/2017
ATIS: Connected Car Security an Industry-Wide Issue
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 8/10/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Animals with Phones
We Know a Tough Day When We See One Click Here
Live Digital Audio

Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.

During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.

She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.