Indian ops drive SingTel’s regional growth, adds record number of customers

13 May 2008

Southeast Asia’s largest telephone company Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) added a record 13.8 million net new mobile subscribers in its fiscal fourth quarter to 31 March, led by high take-up in India. SingTel reported a total of 185.3 million cellular users on a non-proportionate basis in eight markets (Australia, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand) by the start of April, with Indian venture Bharti Airtel, in which SingTel has a 31% stake, adding 6.8 million users in the quarter to maintain its leading position ahead of second-placed Reliance Communications. In Indonesia, SingTel’s 35% owned affiliate PT Telekomunikasi Selular (Telkomsel) gained 3.45 million customers in the January-March period while wholly owned Australian subsidiary SingTel Optus attracted 135,000 net new users. In its home market SingTel said it added 244,000 customers, raising the total to 2.57 million; it had 859,000 3G users at the same date. Elsewhere, AIS of Thailand reported a 19% year-on-year rise in subscribers to 25.09 million customers; Globe Telecom (Philippines) boosted its user base by 26% y-o-y to 21.27 million; Pakistan’s Warid Telecom reported 14.4 million mobile subscribers and PBTL in Bangladesh had 1.56 million customers by the end of March this year. SingTel is scheduled to report fiscal fourth-quarter earnings tomorrow.