New TeleGeography research product benchmarks mobile gains and losses

11 May 2006

According to TeleGeography’s Wireless Operator Metrics (WOM), the top ten cellcos in terms of domestic market share gains is dominated by operators backed by major international players. Number one on the list is Bangladesh-based Banglalink, formerly known as the struggling Sheba Telecom, which received a major investment boost following its USD50 million takeover by Egyptian mobile group Orascom Telecom in September 2004. It re-launched in February 2005, throwing down the gauntlet on pricing by introducing pre-paid services alongside the cheapest handsets in the market by far at that time, and expanding its GSM network to cover 61 of the country’s 64 districts. With Orascom onboard, Banglalink shot up 18 places to number 77 on the WOM annual CAPEX rankings as its 2005 CAPEX increased almost tenfold year-on-year, helping to boost its share of the country’s subscribers from 3.8% to 11.7% in Q1-Q4 (a 207.9% change). Furthermore, based on its expenditure relative to its size, it appears at number two on the WOM National Operator CAPEX/Revenue percentage rankings for Q4 2005 with a figure of 150.1%, down from 196.9% in Q3, 525.8% in Q2 and 804.9% in Q1. Topping that particular table is the Turkcell-backed Ukrainian cellco Astelit/DCC, whose CAPEX/Revenue peaked in Q2 2005 at almost 1000%.

Amongst the year’s other big market share winners were Norwegian giant Telenor’s Pakistan unit, Hong Kong conglomerate Hutchison’s 3G operations in Italy, Austria and Sweden, and Netherlands market leader KPN Mobile. The Dutch cellco stands out from the other top movers on the WOM Market Share Winners and Losers graph, as its growth was achieved by non-organic means, having completed the purchase of domestic rival Telfort in October 2005.

Interestingly, some of the companies that appear on the ‘losing’ side of the WOM graph actually achieved very solid subscriber growth in 2005 on the back of sustained investment, but their negative market share shifts over twelve months reflect fierce competition in their respective countries. Appearing at the bottom is Orascom’s Algerian arm Djezzy GSM, whose market share fell to 53% at the end of December 2005, down from 69.1% in March (a Q1-Q4 negative change of 23.3%), in the face of gains by rival Mobilis and Wataniya Telecom Algeria (Nedjma). These figures do not tell the whole story, however, as a look at WOM’s CAPEX data shows that Djezzy upped its expenditure in 2005 by USD49 million year-on-year to USD457 million, helping it to sign up a very respectable 3.69 million net new users to reach an end-year total of 7.11 million. At international group level, WOM shows that in the period 2003-05 Orascom moved up eight places in a ranking of the forty largest worldwide operators’ CAPEX levels, with the 16th largest 2005 CAPEX, just above 3 Group and below Telenor.

TeleGeography’s new Wireless Operator Metrics research service tracks the latest performance indicators for all major mobile operators worldwide and delivers these indicators to you in a quarterly spreadsheet. Each spreadsheet contains thousands of operational and financial data points for the last four quarters, as well as historical financial data for the last three years. Data points include:

Total and 3G subscribers at the group and subsidiary levels

Market shares

Pre-paid vs. post-paid subscribers

ARPU pre/post-paid

ARPU voice/data

Churn pre/post-paid

Minutes of use

Financial data including revenue, EBITDA, operating income, net income, CAPEX

Analytical charts and tables highlighting the largest and the fastest growing operators

Customers of WOM will receive their next quarterly update in June. It will be updated with Q1 2006 data throughout, including the quarterly market share change of over 140 operators during the period.

For more information visit http://www.telegeography.com/products/wom/index.php or contact your account manager.

Source: TeleGeography’s Wireless Operator Metrics

TeleGeography's Wireless Operator Metrics