SK Telecom credited mobile revenue gains in Q3 to 5G subscriber growth and a recovery in international roaming, but profit dropped on a decline in investment income.

CFO Kim Jin-won noted on an earnings call the operator was making gains in new business areas including media and enterprise.

Based on its position in the mobile and fixed telecoms business, SK Telecom achieved “tangible results” in the emerging “growth businesses” he said.

The company highlighted a plan announced earlier in the week to transition into an AI company by using the technology to redefine its core businesses and build relationships with customers.

It also will look to invest in companies which can benefit from its AI capabilities.

As part of the initiative to drive growth, last month it acquired a 20.8 per cent stake in Korea-based Konan Technology and forged a strategic partnership with the specialist AI company.

Mobile service revenue was up 1.9 per cent year-on-year to KRW2.6 trillion ($1.9 billion), with ARPU flat at KRW30,633.

Roaming revenue rose threefold, Kim said.

SK Telecom added 3.8 million 5G subscribers for a tally of 12.5 million, with its total user base up 3.5 per cent to 30.4 million.

Net profit dropped 66.7 per cent to KRW246 billion due to one-off factors including the exclusion of equity method gains from subsidiary SK Hynix.

Operating revenue grew 3 per cent to KRW4.3 trillion.

Broadband turnover rose 1.9 per cent to KRW1 trillion and its media business 20.6 per cent to KRW395.6 billion

Its enterprise unit, covering data centres and cloud, increased 8.9 per cent to KRW378.5 billion.

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