KT achieves better ARPU from 1.78 million 5G subscribers

KT Corporation said the telecom operator has continued to maintain a very high ARPU from the new 5G subscribers.
KT 5G services in KoreaKT, a leading mobile operator in South Korea, did not reveal the specific details of ARPU from mobile subscribers.

KT has 1.78 million 5G subscribers since starting the world’s first 5G service in April 2019. For comparison, SK Telecom, the main competitor of KT, has 2.65 million 5G subscribers in South Korea.

KT said the total number of wireless subscribers reached 21.98 million with a net addition of 181,000 MNO subscribers during the first quarter of 2020.

“Since the launch of KT’s 5G services, we are currently maintaining a much higher market share in 5G compared to the market share we have for the LTE handsets. We do believe that we need to further improve the growth potential of our wireless business,” Kyung-Keun Yoon, CFO of KT, said.

KT aims to spend KRW3.1 trillion in 2020 mainly focusing on 5G network. Capex in the first quarter was KRW406.9 billion, representing 13.1 percent of the annual plan. “As we are in the second year of launching the 5G service, KT plans to focus on expanding the coverage to the outdoor shadow and indoor areas to improve its user service quality,” Kyung-Keun Yoon said.

KT has reported first quarter revenue of KRW5.831.7 trillion, a similar level on year. KT said handset revenue dropped 6.9 percent due to the decline in the handset sales volume from the COVID-19.

KT said its service revenue grew 1 percent with the stable performance from core businesses, including Wireless, Internet and Media as well as the growth of the B2B and AI/DX businesses.

KT reported operating profit of KRW383.1 billion, down 4.7 percent, with a small decline in the profits from group companies due to the impact of COVID-19.

KT posted net income of KRW226.6 billion (–12.8 percent), EBITDA of KRW1.295.8 trillion (–1 percent) and operating expense of KRW5.448.6 trillion (+0.3 percent) during the first quarter.

KT reported 1.9 percent increase in wireless revenue to KRW1.735.7 trillion. KT said wireless service revenue rose 2.2 percent to KRW1.632.4 trillion, backed by the increasing number of prime subscribers since the launch of 5G and in spite of the great decline in roaming revenue as a result of the COVID – coronavirus outbreak.

KT in 5G

KT has expanded 5G age group with the launch of the 5G Yteen tariff plan for teens and the Y Super Plan for the 20. More than half of new 5G subscribers opted for Super Plan Plus, the new tariff plan with a variety of content-based benefits for video, music and VR, within 1 month of the launch.

KT said the 5G streaming game service, currently in open beta, has surpassed 40,000 subscribers. After a service upgrade, daily average game playing time has increased by around 40 percent, and the number of weekly visitors has increased close to twofold. The service is scheduled to be officially released as a monthly fixed-rate subscription offering in the first half.

KT said fixed-line revenue fell 7 percent to KRW372.5 billion with the decline in the number of subscribers. KT said it reinforced its #1 position in broadband Internet fuelled by the increase in the number of GiGA Internet subscribers. Broadband internet revenue rose 0.5 percent to KRW502.5 billion with the continued growth in GiGA Internet.