China Telecom ended the first half of the year with a total of 37.8 million 5G subscribers and expects to reach 80 million customers in the 5G segment by the end of the year.
In the first half of the year, the operator added 33.3 million 5G subscribers.
China Telecom currently provides commercial 5G services in more than 50 cities across China.
In the 5G segment, China Telecom recorded an ARPU of CNY80.60 ($11.64), which was significantly higher than the overall figure of CNY44.40, which was down 5.3%. Average 5G data usage was 14.1 GB a month.
The Chinese carrier has invested CNY 20.2 billion to build and activate approximately 80,000 5G base stations. The total number of 5G base stations in use was close to 210,000 at the end of June. The company is building a 5G network in partnership with rival carrier China Unicom.
“The company adopted 5G standalone (SA) architecture as the best practice for cloud-network integration and continued to strengthen its technological innovation. After having launched the world’s first SA commercial network capability in 2019 in Shenzhen, the company accelerated the construction of a nationwide SA network for commercial use,” China Telecom’s chairman and CEO Ke Ruiwen said in a statement.
Operating revenues amounted to CNY193.8 billion, up by 1.7% over the same period last year; of which service revenues amounted to CNY187.1 billion, up by 2.5% year-on-year.
Net profit was CNY13.95 billion, almost flat year-on-year, while operating revenue rose 1.7% to CNY193.8 billion.
Mobile service revenue grew 2.5% year-on-year to CNY90.5 billion.
China Telecom added a total of 20 million mobile subscribers in the first half of 2020 for a total of 343.5 million
Capex amounted to CNY43.1 billion in H1 2020, up compared with CNY35 billion in the same period in 2019, with nearly half earmarked for 5G network deployments.
Chinese operators will build 800,000 5G base stations and have more than 200 million 5G subscribers by the end of 2020, Yang Chaobin, president of Huawei’s Wireless Network Solutions unit, recently said during an industry conference.
The executive said that 5G subscribers in China would represent 70% of the global subscriber base by end-2020.
China now has 400,000 5G base stations and 100 million 5G users, said Yang.
In June 2019, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) officially issued licenses for the launch of commercial 5G networks in the country. Those 5G permits were granted to China Mobile, China Unicom, China Telecom and state-owned broadcaster China Broadcasting Network.
It is forecasted that 28% of China’s mobile connections will be running on 5G networks by 2025, accounting for about one-third of all 5G connections globally, according to a previous report by the GSMA.