Tele2 NL added a net 49,000 new cellular users in the three months ended 30 June 2013 to boost its total to 584,000, Telecompaper reports the company as saying. Strong gains from its cellular services helped to offset a fall in turnover from its fixed line operation the operator said, pushing second-quarter revenues up 4% year-on-year to EUR156.3 million (USD204.8 million). Further, Tele2 NL reported a near doubling in sales of mobile services to EUR48.3 million, compared to the year-earlier period, and on the back of this stronger-than-expected growth it is forecasting full-year revenue from mobile activities in the range of EUR185 million to EUR197 million. Mobile EBITDA, however, is forecast to remain in the red as the firm, a unit of Tele2 of Sweden, forges ahead with the rollout of 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology on its network. It is understood to have selected its equipment suppliers for radio, core and IMS systems and is seeking a new MVNO agreement for its 2G/3G access. LTE deployment will begin in earnest in August, with the ultimate aim of rolling out 3,500-4,000 cell sites in the longer term. Currently, Tele2 NL expects to book a full year EBITDA loss of USD7.6-USD11.4 million, on the back of a USD3.6 million loss in 1H13.
Turning to the fixed line sector, Tele2 NL said that whilst it increased its share of the country’s ‘large business’ segment and extended its distribution framework for SMEs via agreement deals with Televersal and Televakcenters, it nonetheless lost a net 10,000 fixed broadband customers in Q2 for an end-June total of 397,000, while the fixed telephony base also fell by a similar amount to 120,000. On a positive note, it launched a fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) trial in early 2013 and reported 3,500 customers by mid-2013. The newspaper notes that the trial is a step towards linking the FTTH to its own fibre backbone through full unbundling.