SK Telecom ends Q1 with almost 11 million 5G subscribers

South Korean operator SK Telecom ended the first quarter of 2022 with a total of 10.88 million subscribers in the 5G segment, after a net addition of 1 million customers during the period, the carrier said in its earnings statement.

During 2021, the telco had added a total of 4.4 million customers in the 5G segment.

The Korean carrier noted that its 5G customer base accounted for 45.9% of total mobile subscribers, up from 41.6% at the end of last year.

SK Telecom’s overall mobile base totaled 32.13 million subscribers at the end of Q1 2022, up 1.9% from 31.5 million subscribers at end-March 2021.

Financial Results

SK Telecom’s revenues in Q1 amounted to KRW 4.27 trillion ($3.35 billion), up 4% compared to the year-ago quarter. Revenue growth during Q1 was chiefly due to the growth of its key business areas including MNO and IPTV, the telco said in its earnings release.

Net income decreased by 61.5% to 220.3 billion due to factors including the exclusion of equity method gains from its chipmaker affiliate SK Hynix, which came as the result of the horizontal spin-off in November 2021.

SK Broadband’s revenue increased by 6.1% year-on-year to KRW 1.026 trillion, while its operating income edged up by 0.9% to KRW 76.1 billion. The unit achieved the highest net additions of cumulative IPTV subscribers in the market for four consecutive quarters since the second quarter of 2021.

The revenue of the company’s enterprise business centered on data center and cloud services increased by 17.4% compared to the same period last year. “The Gasan and Siksa data centers, which opened in July 2021, are expected to grow continuously based on steady demands, and more data centers are being built. Moreover, with increasing use of cloud, the cloud service revenue is also on the rise,” the telco said.

SKT’s metaverse service ‘Ifland’ has reached 1.35 million monthly active users (MAU) as of March 2022 and is on track to accelerate growth by developing new opportunities in the overseas markets through cooperation with global telecommunications companies, SK Telecom said.

“SK Telecom is making continuous efforts to advance its 5G infrastructure. In the first quarter, the combined total capital expenditure of SKT and SK Broadband increased by 27% year-on-year to KRW 279.4 billion. Having spent an annual Capex of over KRW 3 trillion for four consecutive years, SKT and SK Broadband plan to maintain a similar level of capital expenditure this year,” the carrier added.