SingTel’s regional mobile base up 33% y-o-y to 262m

12 Aug 2009

Singapore Telecommunications Limited (SingTel) added a net 64 million new users (33%) in the year to 30 June 2009, and reported strong growth from its regional associates. The group’s aggregate mobile base in all eight regional markets – Australia, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand – climbed 13 million (5.1) on a quarterly basis, the company said in a statement, noting that India’s Bharti reported the single largest increase, with subscriber numbers up 33 million (+48%) in the year to 102.4 million. The Indian company also achieved its highest ever quarterly net additions of 8.4 million in 2Q09, and controlled a market share of 24% as at 30 June 2009.

In Indonesia, Telkomsel reported yearly mobile customer growth of 45%, or 23.6 million, to reach 76 million by 30 June. In the second quarter, the Indonesian cellco added a net 3.9 million customers and increased its market share by 1.6 percentage points to 51.1%, SingTel said. Between June 2008 and June 2009 Globe Telecom in the Philippines added 2.3 million mobile customers (10%) , bringing its base to 25 million. In the latest quarter Globe churned out some of its marginal mobile customers, resulting in a net reduction of 700,000 mobile users in the quarter ended 30 June 2009 compared to a net addition of one million in the preceding quarter. AIS, in Thailand, added 1.9 million mobile customers (7.5%) in the year to 30 June 2009, lifting its overall base to 27.9 million, a market share of about 44%. In Pakistan, Warid grew its total customer base by 2.4 million to 17.9 million, an increase of 15% y-o-y. Bangladeshi venture PBTL’s total mobile customer base topped two million, an increase of 261,000, or 15% more than a year ago. Meanwhile the group’s Australian operation Optus reported ‘accelerating momentum’ in its mobile base. The unit grew its user base by 11% in the year to 30 June 2009, reaching more than eight million users. Optus said it added 213,000 new mobile and wireless broadband customers in 2Q09, including a total of 139,000 post-paid customers. The strong growth was underpinned by demand for Apple iPhone 3G, other smart phones, and ‘Timeless’ plans. In the second quarter the number of 3G customers increased to 2.76 million, SingTel said.

In its home market, SingTel said it added a net 238,000 new mobile customers in the year to 30 June 2009, adding that demand for 3G mobile services continued apace with net additions of 64,000 in the second quarter alone, bringing its total 3G customer base to 1.28 million as at 30 June. In the April-June period SingTel gained 15,000 net new customers, bringing its total mobile customer base to 2.99 million or 45.9% of the Singapore market. Net additions were affected by a 7,000 decline in the number of pre-paid mobile customers as a result of deactivating improperly registered customers while adding 22,000 post-paid mobile customers.