China Mobile has blamed the increasing prevalence of OTT services for a 9% drop in its Q3 net profits.
In a statement, chairman Xi Guohua noted that a “greater impact from OTT products” represented “increasingly complex competition” that caused the group “severe difficulties and challenges.” However, the first nine months of the year were more positive for China Mobile, with a year-on-year drop of just 1.9% in net profit to CNY91.5 billion ($15 billion).
Meanwhile, operating revenue was up 9.4% on the previous year to CNY463 billion following strong growth in 3G subscriptions. For the three months ending September 2013, China Mobile increased its 3G subscribers by 31.6 million to 170 million.
However, the first nine months of 2013 saw ARPU stagnate at the exact same amount as the previous year – CN66 per month. The lack of growth could be due to OTT services, or operators lowering tariffs to be more competitive.
China Mobile’s voice usage rose by 3.1% year-on-year, while data usage increased by 1.2 times over the first three quarters.