Southeast Asia’s biggest telecommunications company, Singapore Telecommunications Limited (SingTel), today announced that its total mobile subscriber base in the region increased by 35%, or 94.4 million users, in the year to 30 September 2010, boosting the group total to almost 368 million. At that date SingTel boasted a footprint covering more than two billion people in Asia and Africa, with operations in no fewer than 25 countries. As well as its home market,
SingTel operates in Australia, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, the Philippines and Thailand. Its single largest affiliate, Bharti Airtel of India, had 188 million mobile customers at the end of the third quarter, including around 40 million from operations in 16 African nations.
Singapore’s leading cellco by subscribers, SingTel Mobile, added a net 54,000 mobile customers in the quarter as a result of strong customer demand for smartphones. The unit’s overall customer base increased 2% from a year ago to reach 3.2 million, a leading market share of 44.1%. Of the total, 1.5 million were pre-paid users, up 15,000 in the quarter, while post-paid net additions in the July-September quarter topped 39,000 – the highest for two years. SingTel Optus in Australia had 8.9 million mobile users at the end of September, up 8% from a year ago, thanks to a combination of industry-leading offerings, continued focus on customer experience, and enhanced network performance. The number of Optus 3G subscribers increased to 4.5 million in the quarter, with wireless broadband subscribers now exceeding one million. Bharti’s total mobile customer base across 19 countries covering India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Africa reached 188 million, an increase of 10.7 million from a quarter ago. In India, Bharti’s mobile customer base rose 30%, or 32.8 million from a year ago, to 143 million as at 30 September 2010. Bharti’s mobile customer base in Africa grew 3.7 million or 10% from a quarter ago to 40.1 million. In Indonesia, Telkomsel’s mobile customer base rose to 93.1 million, an increase of 17% or 13.4 million from a year ago, while AIS Thailand’s cellular customer base grew 2.2 million or 8% to 30.5 million. Globe Telecom in the Philippines had 25.4 million mobile customers as at end-September, an increase of 10% or 2.3 million from a year ago. Warid Telecom (Pakistan) reported 17.2 million users, a sharp 7% (1.3 million) drop year-on-year and Bangladeshi firm PBTL’s total mobile customer base was 1.9 million, 71,000 or 4% lower than a year ago, as a result of a change in the regulatory definition of ‘active’ customers.