Palestinian incumbent Palestine Telecommunications Company’s (Paltel’s) first-quarter net profit rose 20.8% to AED120.83 million (USD32.89 million), with the telco’s CEO Ammar Aker attributing the increase to growing subscriber numbers. In the three months ended 31 March 2010 Paltel’s revenue also increased, up 9.8% year-on-year at AED418.21 million compared to AED380.66 million at end-March 2009. Turnover from fixed line voice services continued to decline however, down 2.7% against the same period a year earlier, although this was offset by a 15.65% increase in revenue from the company’s mobile subsidiary, Palestine Cellular Telecommunications Company (Palcel).
Palcel also outpaced its fixed line counterpart in terms of subscribers; while both fixed and mobile units reported subscriber growth, the latter saw a far larger increase, adding more than 450,000 customers in the year ending March 2010. By comparison Paltel’s customer base grew by less than a tenth of that figure, with fixed line voice subscribers at end-March 2010 totalling 392,606. Growth in uptake of ADSL services also continued, with Paltel reporting a high speed internet subscriber base of 95,151 at 31 March 2010, up 23.96% compared to the 76,759 it had a year earlier.