Canada-based Telesystem International Wireless (TIW) has announced that its eastern European operating units MobiFon of Romania and the Czech Republic’s Cesky Mobile have broken the five million subscriber mark. The two companies both reported record levels of customer growth in the last quarter of 2003, with MobiFon adding around 495,000 subscribers to take its customer base to 3.46 million, and Cesky Mobile adding 109,000 users to lift its total to 1.55 million. Of the combined figure, 38.8% of MobiFon’s net additions were post-paid, while Cesky Mobile’s new post-paid customers accounted for 61%.
By the end of June 2003 Romania was home to 5.51 million mobile subscribers, up from 5.02 million at the start of the year. MobiFon competes with Orange Romania, RomTelecom-owned Cosmorom and Zapp Mobile (formerly Telemobil). MobiFon is the largest operator in Romania with 49.81% of the market as at 30 June 2003, ahead of Orange Romania with 46.98%. Newcomer Zapp claimed 1.7%, overtaking ailing Cosmorom, which boasted just 1.52% despite a decade of operations.
In the Czech Republic’s mobile market, Cesky Mobile, which operates under the brand name Oskar, competes with leading operator Eurotel Prague, owned by the national PTO Cesky Telecom, and T-Mobile. The penetration of mobile services in the Czech Republic passed 88% at the end of September 2003, with Eurotel claiming 4.1 million subscribers, T-Mobile accounting for 3.7 million and Cesky Mobile claiming 1.4 million.