Saudi Arabia's second telecom operator, Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) has posted a 23% jump in quarterly net profit, beating analysts' forecasts, thanks to higher revenue from business and data units and rising sales of smartphones, Reuters has reported. Mobily, an affiliate of UAE operator Etisalat, made a third-quarter net profit of SR1.51bn, compared with SR1.44bn projected by analysts. Operating income also climbed 23% to SR1.57bn. Khalid al-Kaf, chief executive of Etihad Etisalat said he expected the data business to grow its share of group earnings from 26%. "What we accomplished in the past six months in terms of data volumes is more than what we saw over the past five years," Kaf told the news service. The company is spending SR4bn-SR4.5bn ($1.1bn-$1.2bn) expanding its 3G, 4G and fibre networks, "and that trend will continue," he added.