China Telecom posted a nearly 16 percent rise in net profit in the first half as it boosted its 3G user base and data income, the country’s third-biggest telco said yesterday.
The telco’s net profit was 10.2 billion yuan (US$1.64 billion) in the six months ended in June, up 15.9 percent year on year. Its revenue totaled 157.5 billion yuan, up 14.1 percent from a year ago.
“In the first half, the company persisted in deepening its operations and data traffic to boost profitability,” Wang Xiaochu, China Telecom’s chairman, said in a statement.
Although China Telecom may have a smaller user base and revenue compared with China Mobile and China Unicom, it boasts a higher ratio of 3G users among the total mobile phone users, providing a high growth potential, industry insiders said.
At the end of June, China Telecom boasted more than 175 million subscribers, of which 87.33 million were 3G mobile users, representing 50 percent of the total mobile user base.
Comparatively, China Mobile, the world’s biggest telco with more than 740 million subscribers, has 19 percent of its customers using 3G. About 38 percent of China Unicom’s 266 million users are 3G subscribers, according to data the telcos released recently.
In July, the number of mobile subscribers in China gained 0.9 percent to about 1.19 billion from a month earlier, according to the companies’ latest figures.
Meanwhile, China Telecom sees bright prospects because the release of a national Broadband China policy will create opportunities for the country’s biggest fixed-line and broadband carrier.
Under the new policy, China will upgrade the broadband network bandwidth to 20 megabytes per second in all cities by 2015, including 100Mbps in cities like Shanghai.
With greatly improved speed, users can watch high-definition videos and enjoy various services on the Internet, which will earn China Telecom income.
The telco and NetEase.com launched an instant message tool Yixin on Monday to penetrate the mobile Internet sector.