China Mobile Posts Half-Year Results, Ready to Enter 5G Era

The telecoms operator noted an increase in customers in the first half-year and reiterated its plans to provide 5G services across 50 cities in China.

Author: Anna Vodopyanova   

Shares in China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE: CHL) were up 15 cents in early trading Thursday, at $40.32 apiece, after the company reported a growing number of users and better-than-expected revenue in its interim results.

In a statement today, the state-owned telecoms corporation said its revenue in the six months through June was $55.3 billion, a decrease of 0.6 percent year-over-year but more than estimated by analysts. Net income was $7.9 billion, or 39 cents per share, according to the report.

"Despite a year-on-year decline of 14.6%, our profitability still remained at a leading level among top-tier global telecommunications operators," China Mobile said.

The company noted an increase in mobile customers by 10 million during the half-year, bringing the total to 935 million users. Of these, 734 million were 4G customers. It also reported 175 million in China Mobile's wireline broadband users and 693 million IoT smart connections users, noting a rise in both sectors.

China Mobile also said it has made progress in developing its 5G network "by developing new mechanisms for cooperation" with local governments, tech companies and education and research institutions.

"We have achieved technological maturity with the frequency of 2.6 GHz for 5G basically comparable to that of 3.5 GHz," the company reported. "At the same time, we have steadily proceeded with the innovative convergence of 5G and a plethora of key vertical industries, including 5G+ smart agriculture, industry, transport, healthcare, city administration, finance and education," it said.

China Mobile received its 5G commercial license in June and has launched its "5G+" brand. This year, China's largest telecoms operator said it plans to set up more than 50,000 5G base stations and launch commercial services in 50 cities.

In its report, China Mobile called the entry into the 5G era a "historic moment."

Meanwhile, in the United States, a number of carriers including Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T began providing fixed and mobile 5G in select parts of several major cities earlier this year.