China Telecom profit, voice revenue down

China Telecom, the largest telco in China, announced first-half earnings, including an 8 percent slide in profit to $1.85 billion. The profit drop was driven in part by a 2.5 percent decline in landline customers and an 11.8 percent fall in voice revenue. these results come just a few days after China Netcom, the second-largest landline network operator in China, reported first-half financial metrics that included a 5.7 percent decline in its fixed-line customer base from the first six months of 2007. 

Netcom's profit was down 5.2 percent, though average revenue from broadband users was 1.6 percent higher, and that's where noth China Netcom and China Telecom hope to gain ground in the near future. Much of the Netcom's and Telecom's landline customer loss was to mobile operators. But now, China Netcom is in the process of merging with mobile giant China Unicom, and China Telecom soon will acquire one of China Unicom's mobile networks, both moves part of the previously announced industry-wide restructuring in China.

Some initial moves in that restructuring program have been announced over the last few months, but now that the Beijing Olympics are over, you can bet the program will pick up steam.

For more:
-read this Associated Press story on Telecom at The International Herald Tribune
- see this coverage pf Netcom's numbers at The Wall Street Journal

Related articles:
China has started to move ahead with its telecom industry shake-up. China report
China Telecom posted big broadband growth last month. China Telecom report