KT expressed confidence in achieving a target of closing 2020 with 3.5 million 5G subscribers, as additions gathered pace in Q2 and fresh handsets are on the horizon.
On an earnings call, CFO Yoon Kyung-keun said ARPU from 5G customers was 30 per cent more than 4G, though declines in roaming revenue limited the benefit during Q2. Yoon predicts a more favorable climate in H2.
KT added 459,000 5G subscribers during the quarter, taking its total to 2.34 million, with penetration of 15.7 per cent.
Lockdown restrictions interrupted much of its network construction in H1, with capex of KRW967 billion ($815.6 million) versus its full year budget of KRW3.1 trillion meaning pick-up is expected in the back half. In 2019, it spent KRW3.26 trillion.
Net profit increased 2.2 per cent year-on-year in Q2 to KRW207.6 billion, on revenue of KRW5.88 trillion, down 3.6 per cent.
Mobile service revenue remained flat at KRW1.6 trillion and handset sales fell 22.2 per cent to KRW680 billion. B2B revenue increased 2.4 per cent to KRW701 billion.
ARPU was 1.1 per cent lower at KRW31,393.
Total mobile subscribers increased 1.4 per cent to 14.29 million, excluding IoT and MVNO connections.