China Unicom continued to add 5G users at a brisk pace in Q1 and registered another quarter of profit and revenue growth, although questions were raised about the performance of its mobile business.

Its net profit improved 8.9 per cent year-on-year to CNY5.6 billion ($773.1 million), due in part to 16.3 per cent lower financial costs. Operating revenue increased 2.3 per cent to CNY99.5 billion, while service turnover increased 3.4 per cent to CNY89 billion.

The company didn’t break out mobile service revenue or reveal ARPU. Judging by 26.1 per cent growth in its CDSA business (covering computing services, system integration, data services, digital smart applications and cybersecurity) to CNY23.2 billion, its mobile business appeared to weaken.

Connectivity and communications revenue totalled CNY62.3 billion. 

China Unicom revealed figures for the two categories (CC and CDSA) for the first time.

Last month it forecast double-digit profit growth for the full year.

The operator added 45.2 million 5G package subscribers from a year earlier to end March with 269 million, taking penetration to nearly 80 per cent.

It closed the quarter with 1.4 million mid-band 5G base stations.

The number of 5G private network customers more than doubled to 4,228, while IoT connections rose 27.3 per cent to 529 million.

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