Three major operators look forward to 3G breakthrough: ARPU problem to be solved

Three major operators look forward to 3G breakthrough: ARPU problem to be solved

As of March 25, the three major domestic telecom operators have fully disclosed the 2009 annual report. China Mobile still maintains its strong position in revenue scale and profitability. But after reading the annual report carefully, it is not difficult to find that the three companies are facing the pressure of slowing the growth of main revenue and the decline in monthly revenue per user (ARPU), and improving ARPU by vigorously promoting the application of 3G services may be the choice of operators.

China Mobile remains strong

The 2009 annual report released by China Unicom (0762.HK) on the 25th shows that the company's annual operating income was 153.95 billion yuan, excluding the deferred revenue of fixed-line initial installation costs of 490 million yuan, and achieved a service income of 149.1 billion yuan, comparable Caliber, down 1.2% year-on-year; realized profit of 9.56 billion yuan, down 35.2% year-on-year. Basic earnings per share was RMB 0.402.

When asked whether China Unicom would follow China Mobile's participation in banks to develop mobile financial services, China Unicom's chairman Chang Xiaobing said that there are no plans yet. Chang Xiaobing also revealed that the company plans to add 10 million 3G users this year.

Comparing the financial data of the three companies, China Mobile (0941.HK) unsurprisingly maintained the status of the industry's super money machine. The data shows that China Mobile's annual operating income reached 452.1 billion yuan, 2.7 times that of China Unicom, and 2.03 times that of China Telecom (0728.HK); while in terms of annual net profit, China Mobile is as high as 115.1 billion yuan, then They are 12 times that of China Unicom, 7.9 times that of China Telecom, and 4.8 times the sum of the latter two.

Ren Wenjie, a researcher at the First Venture Capital, believes that thanks to more than 500 million 2G mobile users, China Mobile ’s revenue scale will continue to be maintained in the short term. China Unicom and China Telecom will use 3G to add users in their competition strategies. To erode the position of China Mobile as a breakthrough.

It is worth noting that due to the decline in fixed-line voice services and the initial stage of 3G operations, China Unicom's net profit fell by 35%, the only company in the three that had a year-on-year decline in net profit. Yan Ping, a researcher at Guosen Securities, believes that the fourth quarter of 2009 is the lowest point of China Unicom's single-quarter performance. It is expected that the follow-up will pick up quarter by quarter.

The problem of raising ARPU remains to be solved

Industry researchers pointed out that for the three major operators, the weak overall revenue growth and the decline in monthly revenue per user (ARPU) are currently urgent problems to be solved, and with the growth of the number of 3G network users, provide valuable 3G Industry application will be an effective means to deal with this problem.

Wang Jianzhou, chairman of China Mobile, previously said in an interview with a reporter from China Securities News, "The current monthly call time per user has reached a very high level. Even if the operator lowers the call fee, the monthly call time has not been greatly improved. Space, because everyone is not so sensitive to price. In the future to improve user value, we should focus on providing diversified 3G industry applications. "

The data shows that China Mobile's annual revenue growth rate was 9.8%, China Telecom's 12.2%, and China Unicom's decreased by 1.2%, showing a weak growth trend. On the indicator of monthly revenue per user (ARPU), all three companies have declined. China Mobile dropped from 83 yuan in 2008 to 77 yuan, China Unicom was 31.4 yuan, 11.2% lower than 2008; China Telecom mobile phone ARPU fell from 63.4 yuan in 2008 to 59.5 yuan.

Although the ARPU of 2G users is declining, operators of 3G users are still pleased with this indicator. According to China Unicom's data, the company's 3G user ARPU reached 141.7 yuan, far higher than the 2G user's 31.4 yuan. Chang Xiaobing, chairman of China Unicom, also said that this year plans to add 10 million 3G users, while ARPU will remain above 100 yuan, and iPhone users' data usage is double that of other users.

In addition, as the three major operators currently have similar 3G subscribers, they are also seen by China Unicom and China Telecom as an opportunity to "overtake on a curve". As of February 2010, the number of 3G subscribers of China Mobile was 4.28 million, and China Unicom was not far behind, at 4.06 million.

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