China Telecom gains 5G market share as profits dip
It’s been a week of mixed fortunes for the state-owned China Telcom, which saw 12 million 5G users added to its customer base in the face of ongoing profit fluctuations.
China Telecom’s first quarter net profits were down 2.2% as a direct result of the Coronavirus pandemic. Net profit declined US$821.5 million (13.9%), while operating revenue fell 1.4%, the state-owned company said.
The majority of new 5G customers migrated from existing LTE services, with the increase following earlier growth of 8.663 million users at the end of February. In March, the operator reported that it lost 5.6 million users – a near 25% share of the 21 million total subscribers who suspended their services across all networks, due to Coronavirus and resulting travel bans.
In total the telco’s customer base now reportedly stands at 336.55 million total mobile subscribers, with 16.6 million of those now on 5G.
As a 5G market, China now has 20.569 million active 5G users through China Mobile and China Telecom, with China Unicom so far keeping its subscriptions under wraps. Last month, the figure stood at 15.399 million.
Over in South Korea, the five million 5G subscriber milestone was reached on April 1 – 11 months after the commercialisation of the country’s 5G networks.