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China’s largest telecom provider, China Mobile, reported operating revenue of 740.5 billion yuan for the 2017 financial year, up by 4.5 percent compared to the previous year. Revenue growth in telecommunications services achieved a six-year high of 7.2 percent, outpacing the industry average.

Revenue from wireless data traffic, on a full-year basis, accounted for more than half of China Mobile’s total telecommunications services revenue for the first time, demonstrating a fundamental change in revenue structure, the company reported.

The contribution from household and corporate markets increased for China Mobile and its digital services revenue achieved favorable growth. The total number of connections reached 1,229 million, amongst which 887 million were mobile connections, 113 million were wireline broadband connections and 229 million were Internet of Things (IoT) smart connections.

“Our profitability continued to outperform our peers,” the company said in a statement. “Profit attributable to equity shareholders reached RMB114.3 billion which is equivalent to basic earnings per share of RMB5.58, up by 5.1 percent compared to last year.”

“In 2017, despite disruptive forces in the industry such as the rapid advancement in the information and communication technology (ICT) and significant changes in the competitive landscape of the industry, we maintained a clear focus on implementing our ‘Big Connectivity’ strategy, anchored by the integrated development of the ‘four growth engines’,” said China Mobile Chairman Shang Bing.

“As a result, we have made outstanding achievements on multiple fronts, sustained favorable growth momentum and bolstered our position as a market leader,” Bing added. “Our profitability is maintained at an industry-leading level benchmarked against other world-class operators, providing us with the solid foundation for future growth. These achievements were hard-earned but a source of encouragement.”

With a net addition of 114 million, China Mobile’s total number of 4G customers reached 650 million and 4G penetration rate of its mobile customers reached 73 percent. The total handset data traffic increased by 121.3 percent compared to the previous year, while the average handset data traffic per user per month of 4G customers reached 1.76GB.

The average revenue per user (ARPU) of 4G customers reached RMB66.4. The high definition VoLTE (Voice over LTE) has been put to commercial use and achieved favorable progress with 200 million customers in total.

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