South Korea’s third operator LG U+ made strong gains in Q2 2021. Growth was particularly strong in the expanding wireless business sector.
The operator saw significant increases in 5G and MVNO subscriber numbers, driving up sales for its wireless business and underscoring its efforts to enhance user experience and digital innovation, which have strengthened service quality in its B2C business.
LG U+ reported net income (profit) of KRW 210.5bn (USD 186m), a 39.8% year-on-year increase for the quarter, on gross revenues of KRW 3,346BN (USD 3bn). These results place LG U+ squarely ahead of its rivals in terms of growing its wireless sales - the operator recorded revenue growth of KWR 1.55 in (USD 1.37bn), a year-on-year increase of 5.7% compared to SKT’s 2.7% and KT’s 3.8%.
Growth was driven by a huge year-on-year increase in 5G and MVNO subscribers. LG U+ saw its 5G subscribers increase by 108.8% year-on-year to 3.727 million during this quarter, while its MVNO subscribers increased by 79.4% to 2.357 million.
Between mobile subscribers and MVNO subscribers, LG U+ had a total of 17.198 million wireless subscribers in Q2 2021, meaning that its overall subscriber numbers saw a year-on-year increase of 8.4%. In addition to this growth, the operator’s overall churn rate has been on a continuous decline, hitting 1.28% in Q2 2021 – its lowest since 2019.
The operator expects its 5G subscriber base to continue expanding later this year as it prepares for the commercial launch of new 5G devices.
LG U+ has focused on strengthening the service quality of its B2C offering in order to make it more competitive. An example of this was the opening of XR Gallery, an online exhibition hall dedicated to the K-pop idol group EXO which focuses on content production and promotion using U+VR.
In addition, LG U+ has bolstered its ‘My Own Pick’ service with a ‘Subscription Pick’ feature that provides access to outlets such as Naver Shopping and Milly’s Library. The operator has also launched ‘U+ Home Pack’, which bundles together mobile, IPTV, Internet, and home services at a discount.
The operator has invested in content houses such as ‘Monster Studio’ and ‘Dream Factory Studio’ to increase the competitiveness of its kids content and has also brought companies including AR firm ‘Trigger’ under the banner of the XR Alliance, of which LG U+ is the chair. This strategy of investment and cooperation has allowed LG U+ to further strengthen its B2C business.
As previously reported on Developing Telecoms LG U+ has the fastest 5G download speeds among South Korean mobile carriers, with 476.5 Mbps throughput in Seoul, according to a report by RootMetrics. This is driven primarily by the quality of its network infrastructure. As a result, the operator expects to extend its lead in the B2C space over the coming year.