Telekom Austria has announced it made subscriber gains in its fixed line business in November and December 2008. The company said the first gains in this area of the business in twelve years were attributable to the introduction of product bundles. The number of fixed net access lines at the end of December 2008 declined by only 4% to 2.3 million lines compared to 2.4 million access lines at year-end 2007. Meanwhile, fixed net broadband net adds increased by 76.2% to 50,400 during the fourth quarter of 2008 compared to 28,600 net adds during the same period of the previous year. The total number of fixed net broadband lines grew by 18% year-on-year from 750,700 as of 31 December, 2007 to 885,700 lines as of end-2008. This was driven by a strong growth of fixed net broadband retail lines, which overcompensated for a decline in fixed net broadband wholesale lines.
The group also continued to perform well in the mobile sector, increasing its customer base to 17.8 million as of 31 December 2008, up from 15.4 million twelve months previously, a 15.2% increase year-on-year. Mobilkom Austria recorded 140,500 net adds during the fourth quarter of 2008 and expanded its overall subscriber base by 13.6% to 4.5 million customers in 2008. Mobiltel Bulgaria, reached a total of 202,500 net adds in the fourth quarter taking its subscriber base to 5.4 million customers at year-end 2008, while Velcom, the second largest mobile operator in Belarus, grew its customer base by 20.9% from 3.1 million customers at year-end 2007 to 3.7 million at the end of 2008. VIPnet, the second largest mobile operator in Croatia, increased its subscriber base by 14.1% to 2.5 million customers at year-end 2008. At the same date Si.Mobil, the second largest mobile operator in Slovenia, increased its customer base by 14.7% to 570,600 customers. VIP Serbia, increased its subscriber base by 78.4% to 907,900 customers in 2008, while VIP Macedonia, had 242,000 customers at year-end 2008 compared to 141,200 subscribers at the end of 2007, an increase of 71.4%.