China Mobile has reported what it called a “stable” 4.7% year-on-year increase in profit for the first half of 2018 to 65.64 billion yuan ($9.62 billion).
Operating revenue for the quarter grew 2.9% year-on-year to 391.83 billion yuan, with telecoms service revenue growing 5.5% over the same period to 356.61 billion yuan.
The world's largest operator by subscriber's total subscription base increased to 1.42 billion during the quarter, comprising 906 million mobile connections, 135 million wireline broadband connections and 384 million IoT connections.
In China Mobile's largest business the personal mobile market, mobile net additions reached 18.61 million, with 4G net additions reaching 27.32 million. Total 4G penetration reached 74.7%, or 680 million customers.
Data traffic revenue accordingly maintained a double digit growth rate, with average data traffic per user per month exceeding 3GB and total handset data traffic increasing by 153%.
Fixed broadband net additions meanwhile reached 18.8 million, giving China Mobile a market share of 57% of total net additions.
In an indication of the growth of its IoT business, the company noted in its quarterly report that in some areas, M2M connections have already overtaken human-to-human connections.
In the corporate market, China Mobile reported a 21.2% year-on-year rise in telecoms and information services revenue with a market share of over 38%.
China Mobile chairman Shang Bing commented that market competition intensified during the quarter, and operators were required to take further action to comply with the government's policy of upgrading speeds while reducing tariffs.
“Faced with this complex environment, across the China Mobile business, we closely adhered to the “Big Connectivity” strategy and took considered moves to proactively tackle both market competition and other emerging challenges, launching various initiatives for the personal mobile, household, corporate and emerging businesses,” he said.
“There was further integration of these four important growth engines, and at the same time a step-up in our reforms and enhancements to our management efficiency. Thanks to these collective and coordinated efforts, we have maneuvered along the course of our development and maintained satisfactory growth in our financial performance.”