5G services push Korean operator’s mobile revenues up, but related costs hit income

SK Telecom revealed recently that it expects to have signed up in excess of 2 million 5G customers by the end of this year.

The South Korean mobile operator, which was among the first in the world to launch 5G in April, has reported second quarter financials that show its 5G customer base stood at 530,000 at the end of June. This gives it the largest market share in the country, it claims.

The launch, and subsequent growth, of 5G services helped to drive a turnaround in mobile revenues, which increased by 1% on the previous quarter to 2.44 trillion won (€1.8 billion). The mobile business was still down by 2.5% compared with the year-ago quarter though.

The growth in mobile pushed overall operating revenue up by 2.4% on Q1 and by 6.8% year-on-year to KRW4.44 trillion.

However, the mobile business pushed group operating income down 6.9% to KRW322.8 billion. The telco did not disclose a figure for the mobile unit, other than to say it declined. It attributed the slide to "higher depreciation and amortization costs related to 5G, and increased marketing costs."