Taiwan Mobile Co (台灣大哥大) yesterday said it has seen a 25 percent jump in the monthly fee for subscribers upgrading to 5G services since their debut in July, boding well for a further lift in its average revenue per user (ARPU).
The company saw its post-paid users’ ARPU dip just 1 percent to NT$650 (US$22.51) last quarter from NT$654 a quarter earlier. That represented a decline of 9 percent from NT$718 a year earlier.
Taiwan Mobile had 5.8 million post-paid subscribers as of the end of last quarter.
“Since the launch of 5G commercial services at the beginning of the third quarter, we have seen encouraging 5G sign-ups and an ARPU lift,” Taiwan Mobile president Jamie Lin (林之晨) told investors in a teleconference.
In the first three months after the launch, the 5G adoption rate was 50 percent higher than that for 4G services at the same stage, Lin said, declining to disclose its 5G customer base.
Moreover, about 90 percent of the company’s 5G subscribers opted for the NT$999 rate plan or for even higher tariffs, Lin said.
Post-paid subscribers’ monthly fee has started picking up on a sequential basis since September as a result of its rate plan mix stabilization, Taiwan Mobile said.
Mobile service revenue last quarter stabilized for the first time since the NT$499 frenzy in the second quarter of 2018, it said.
Mobile service revenue was little changed at NT$11.73 billion last quarter, compared with NT$11.7 billion in the second quarter, a company financial statement showed.
On an annual basis, that represented a decline of 8 percent from NT$12.75 billion.
With more 5G phones, including Apple Inc’s new iPhone 12 series and Android models, hitting the market, Lin said that better availability of 5G phones would help boost Taiwan Mobile’s 5G subscriptions.
However, supply constraints of the iPhone 12 family and Google’s 5G-capable Pixel phones are a concern, he said, but added that the tight supply is expected to be resolved in the next two to four weeks.
To enhance its 5G network coverage, Taiwan Mobile plans to expand its high-speed 5G base stations to 6,000 units by the end of this year, compared with about 4,000 now, Lin said, adding that the company has set capital expenditure for this year at NT$20.4 billion.
With the commencement of 5G spectrum amortization in July, the telecom said its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) fell 10 percent year-on-year to NT$6.25 billion.
In the first nine months, Taiwan Mobile saw its net profit contract 3.67 percent from a year earlier to NT$9.18 billion. That translated into earnings per share of NT$3.27, down from NT$3.46 a year earlier.
Revenue climbed 4.57 percent to NT$94.44 billion during the same period, thanks to contributions from its e-commerce subsidiary, Momo.com Ltd (富邦媒體).
Momo.com reported 29.5 percent annual growth in revenue in the first nine months to NT$46.52 billion, accounting for more than half of Taiwan Mobile’s total revenue.
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