Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) today announced that its aggregate mobile customer base (on a non-proportional basis) in the region reached 197.71 million at the end of June 2008, up 45% from 136.25 million a year earlier. SingTel said strong growth continued despite a slowdown in regional economies, while in its home market SingTel Mobile expanded despite the advent of full mobile number portability (MNP). The operator saw steady performances in all eight markets in which it has a presence – Australia, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. On a proportionate basis, SingTel’s customer base grew 42% year-on-year or 7.2% quarter-on-quarter to a total of 70.76 million. In India, Bharti added a record 7.4 million net new customers in the three months to 30 June to raise its total to 69.38 million – or 35% of SingTel’s total mobile base; the Singaporean group owns 30.44% of Bharti. Telkomsel of Indonesia, in which it has a 35% stake, signed up 1.11 million new customers to end the April-June quarter with 52.44 million. SingTel’s 21.35% owned unit Advanced Info Services (AIS) continues to lead the market in Thailand, adding more than 877,000 new customers in the three months to end-June, for a total of 25.96 million customers, a market share of roughly 46%. Filipino cellco Globe Telecom (47.34%-owned by SingTel) reported 1.46 million new mobile clients, boosting its subscriber base to 22.74 million. Pakistani venture Warid, in which it controls 30%, increased its user base by 1.1 million to 15.49 million and 45%-owned Bangladeshi operator PBTL ended June with 1.7 million CDMA customers.
Meanwhile, SingTel’s Australian unit Optus claimed 7.24 million customers at 30 June 2008, a net quarterly subscriber gain of 101,000, of which 87,000 were post-paid users. The Aussie unit also reported 1.87 million 3G subscribers by the mid-year point, up 33% y-o-y on the back of its HSPA network rollout which covered more than 80% of the population by the start of last month. In its domestic market, SingTel said the introduction of full MNP on 13 June 2008 had not affected subscriber take-up. The group’s mobile arm added 182,000 new customers in 2Q08 to lift its total base to 2.75 million, of which 1.34 million were pre-paid. SingTel also had 961,000 3G mobile subscribers in Singapore as at 30 June 2008, representing 68% of its total post-paid base.