More Hong Kong subscribers will upgrade to 4G services this year, which will drive mobile data consumption, according to the city's second-largest wireless network operator Hutchison Telecommunications Hong Kong.
The telecoms firm's chief executive Peter Wong King-fai, speaking following the company's announcement of solid earnings last year, said there was much to be optimistic about in the year ahead as far as Hong Kong operators are concerned.
The comments follow plans announced last week to deploy an expanded 4G infrastructure from the second half of this year to meet growing demand for data capacity.
Hutchison Telecom estimated that the average monthly 4G data usage per subscriber last year reached 2.5 gigabytes, up from 2GB a month in 2014, on steady upgrades to 4G by its existing 3G and 2G customers.
Hutchison Telecom, a subsidiary of billionaire Li Ka-shing's CK Hutchison Holdings, offers mobile services in Hong Kong and Macau under its "3" brand, while fixed-line residential operations fall under 3Home Broadband.
At the end of last year, Hutchison Telecom had 3.03 million mobile subscribers in Hong Kong and Macau.
Those subscriber numbers contributed to Hutchison Telecom reporting a 10% rise in net profit last year to HK$915 million, up from HK$833 million in 2014.
Consolidated revenue, meanwhile, grew 35% to HK$22.04 billion, from HK$16.29 billion in 2014, attributed to an increase in hardware sales.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation jumped by 4% to HK$2.79 billion, compared with HK$2.68 billion in 2014.
When asked to comment on the company's pricing for tariff plans and handset sales this year, Wong said: "We prefer to be a value leader [in mobile services] rather than a price leader."