(CBN Global) March 24 -- Combined full-year operating profit at China's top three telecoms companies rose 2 percent, with China Mobile Inc. [HK:00941] accounting for 78 percent of the total.
Operating profit, or earnings from core business operations, at China Mobile, China Unicom Ltd. [HK:00762] and China Telecom Corp. [HK:00728] was almost CNY1.28 trillion (USD196 billion) in 2015, according to financial statements from the Beijing-based companies. Their combined net income was CNY139.1 billion; China Mobile's was CNY108.5 billion.
China Mobile's robust earnings are partly attributable to its advantages in the 4G business, said a CBN analyst. It was the country's first licensed 4G operator and now has 300 million 4G users, making it the largest 4G operator in the world. China Mobile's market dominance prompted China Unicom and China Telecom to join forces at the end of 2015.
As people are making fewer voice calls, new businesses such as data services have been given increasing prominence by the three carriers. The broadband landline market has also become increasingly competitive, where China Telecom has the largest customer base at 113.06 million. China Unicom has 72.33 million and China Mobile, 55 million.
Still, China Mobile has obtained a license for broadband landlines through the acquisition of China Tietong Telecommunications Corp.'s assets and businesses, benefiting it in terms of further consolidated mobile broadband businesses.