Vodafone within touching distance of 180 million subs

24 Jan 2006

UK-based mobile giant Vodafone said it added 7.1 proportionate new wireless subscribers to its worldwide businesses in the three months to 31 December 2005, taking its total proportionate customer base to 179.3 million. 3G services proved to be a Christmas hit, with Vodafone claiming that 3.1 million of the new additions bought a UMTS device, taking the 3G base to eight million. Total proportionate mobile revenues increased by 8% in the quarter.

Vodafone attributed much of the growth to new acquisitions and expansion outside western Europe. Since October, the group has spent around USD8.5 billion, including the purchase of a 10% stake in India’s Bharti Tele-Ventures and the raising of its stake in South Africa’s Vodacom Group. Last month Vodafone won an auction to buy Turkey’s Telsim, making Turkey Vodafone’s fourth-largest market in terms of subscribers. Service revenue growth slowed in Germany, Italy and the UK due to increased competition and falling prices, but this was offset by strong performances in Spain and the US. Vodafone said its businesses in emerging markets continued to perform well, particularly in Romania and Egypt.

United Kingdom, Vodafone Group