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World’s biggest MNO grows again

China Mobile has reported its numbers for the quarter ending March 31, and surprise surprise, it has grown even bigger once again.

Total revenues for the quarter stood at roughly $29 billion, up 0.8%, while profits rose 4% to just over $5 billion. Compared to the same period in 2017, an additional 11.34 million subscribers were brought into the fold, taking the total to 899 million of which 672 million are 4G, while ARPU rose to $8.83 from $7.83.

It always useful to have a point of comparison every now and then, so just to put things in perspective, in the UK O2 has the largest market share which is 30 million subscribers. The population of the UK is roughly 65 million, while it is roughly 740 million for Europe. China is pretty big.

Data traffic is also on the up, a 139% increase year-on-year, while the voice business continued with its downward trajectory with total voice usage (minutes) declining by 7.6%. Interestingly enough, while voice contributions are down, SMS is on the rise. Thanks to the introduction of corporate SMS, total SMS usage rose by 6.3% year-on-year.

The focus for the state-owned firm over the next couple of months will be efficiencies, as the Chinese government is continuing to press the telco to improve connectivity across the country. It isn’t all rock n’ roll in the Chinese telco space.


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