(Yicai Global) Aug. 9 -- China Mobile Communications Group, the world's biggest carrier by subscribers, will invest CNY24 billion (USD3.4 billion) this year to build its fifth-generation wireless communications network. Shares of its listed unit rose.
Annual capital expenditure will not exceed CNY166 billion, Chairman Yang Jie said on an earnings call yesterday. The Beijing-based company's peak period of 5G investment will be 2020 to 2022, but it will rein in its total investment, he said.
State-owned China Mobile is scheduled to build over 50,000 5G base stations this year to provide 5G commercial services to more than 50 cities. China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom will decide whether to expand their 5G investment next year based on the results of this year's scaled testing, they said in March.
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology granted 5G licenses to China Telecom, China Mobile, China Unicom and China Broadcasting Network on June 6, signaling the start of the country's 5G commercialization.
Shares of China Mobile [HKG:0941] gained 2.9 percent today to end the week at HKG64.90 (USD8.28) each. Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng Index slipped 0.7 percent.
The decline in its earnings continued into the first half of this year, yesterday's earnings report showed. Net profit fell 14.6 percent to CNY56.1 billion in the six months ended June 30 because of growing competition as the country's telecoms market begins to saturate. Revenue slid 0.6 percent to CNY389.4 billion.
Editor: Ben Armour