China Telecom added 27 million 5G package subscribers in Q3, taking its total to 64.8 million as it works towards a target to surpass 80 million by the year-end.
The gains pushed 5G penetration to 18.6 per cent from 11 per cent in Q2, when its tally stood at 21.2 million customers.
Its overall mobile subscriber base grew 5.7 per cent year-on-year to 349 million in Q3.
In the opening nine months, net profit edged up 1.7 per cent from the same period in 2019 to CNY18.7 billion ($2.8 billon) on service revenue of CNY281 billion, up 3.5 per cent.
Chairman and CEO Ke Ruiwen stated its profit was helped by a 25.1 per cent jump in investment income and its share of profits from associates including China Tower.
Network operations and support expenses increased 12.6 per cent, mainly due to its increased investment in 5G infrastructure, he said.
ARPU was down marginally at CNY44.40, with Ke noting the rate of decline continued to narrow.