The Data business of China’s three major telecom carriers soared in the first half of this year thanks to the popularity of 3G network, according to the financial report released by the three companies. Driven by data business, the performance of China Telecom (HK:00728) and China Unicom (HK:00762) advanced rapidly in the reporting period, but still lagged behind China Mobile (NYSE:CHL) in terms of overall revenues and net profits.

China Mobile’s wireless Internet and data business soared 62.2% and 25.5% YOY to 47.4 billion and 95.4 billion yuan, accounting for 16.6% and 33.5% of the total telecom services, respectively. China Mobile has constructed 361,000 3G base stations and launched the construction of more than 200,000 4G (TD-LTE) base stations countrywide as of H1.

China Unicom’s revenues from the mobile unit climbed 20.5% YOY to 72.85 billion yuan in H1. China Unicom’s 3G revenue amounts to 40.91 billion yuan, accounting for 56.2% of the mobile service revenue — an increase from 44.5% in the first half of 2012. China Unicom 3G subscribers jumped 73.9% YOY to more than 100 million, with penetration rate of 38.2% and ARPU of 77.6 yuan.

China Telecom’s subscribers increased 13.88 million to 175 million, of which 18.28 million are 3G users, representing 50% of the total. The monthly data traffic of China Telecom 3G users climbed 51% YOY to 168 million and the mobile internet revenue nearly doubled to 9.8 billion yuan.