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Digitel beats year-end target for mobile subs

2 Jan 2008

Filipino mobile operator Digital Telecommunications Philippines Inc (Digitel) says it had 5.5 million subscribers by December 2007, more than double the number reported a year earlier, and easily eclipsing the company’s target of four million subscribers by the end of 2007. Digitel, which markets services under the Sun Cellular banner, says it had around two million users at the end of December 2006, making it the third largest operator in the Philippines’ mobile market behind Smart Communications (which ended the year with more than 30 million subscribers) and Globe Telecom. By the start of this year the firm’s mobile network covered 108, or 91%, of the countries 119 cities, it said in a statement to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).

Digitel recorded a net loss of PHP229 million (USD5.45 million) for the nine months ended September 2007, compared to net losses of PHP880.5 million in the corresponding period in 2006. It attributed the improvement in its performance to FOREX gains, but said it would continue to invest heavily in its network rollout amid intense domestic competition. Digitel is 51.29%-owned by JG Summit Holdings Inc, one of the country’s largest conglomerates, although rumours have emerged that the cellco could be a target for a number of interested buyers, including the Government of Singapore Investment Corp. According to local newspaper the Inquirer however, Digitel has no knowledge of any unsolicited proposal from any party.

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