PCCW’s core telecoms unit Hong Kong Telecommunications (HKT) has posted a 6% rise in mobile, fixed line and broadband revenues for 2012, reaching total sales of HKD18.36 billion (USD2.37 billion), driven by 25% turnover increases in both mobile service revenue – to HKD2.46 billion – and international fixed telecoms service revenue, which climbed to HKD5.24 billion in the twelve-month period. HKT reported a 32% pro forma increase in net profit for the year ended 31 December 2012 – the first full year of results since PCCW listed business trust HKT Trust and its associated operating company HKT. Despite booking consolidated net income of HKD1.61 billion, up from HKD1.22 billion a year earlier, PCCW claimed that its mobile revenue growth was inhibited by manufacturer Apple’s policy of locking handset/tablet SIMs, as HKT managing director Alex Arena said that without this constraint the operator ‘could have sold a lot of iPhone 5s’ for use on its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network. HKT previously complained to Hong Kong’s Office of the Communications Authority (OFCA) against Apple’s SIM locking, and has petitioned the High Court ‘on behalf of the consumers’ to address the regulator’s perceived lack of action on the issue, on the grounds that OFCA has failed to enforce existing official policy against SIM locking. HKT claims it has lost potential sales of ‘hundreds of millions of Hong Kong dollars’ as a direct result of Apple’s SIM locking, as the iPhone 5 smartphone and 4G-compliant versions of the iPad/iPad Mini tablets can only be connected to PCCW Mobile’s 3G network.
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