M1 – BT

M1 turns subscriber tide in Q2

SINGAPORE’S smallest telco registered the biggest subscriber gain among the three local operators in the second quarter of this year.

MobileOne added 50,000 local mobile customers, while StarHub came in second with a net addition of 34,000 users.

The usual frontrunner – Singapore Telecom – trailed the pack with the addition of only 15,000 new local subscribers.

According to a SingTel statement yesterday, the company’s customer tally was affected by the deactivation of improperly registered pre-paid subscribers during the quarter.

Despite adding 22,000 post-paid users here, the cancellation of 7,000 pre- paid accounts resulted in the net addition of 15,000.

Still, SingTel remains the dominant local player, with a mobile market share of 45.9 per cent.

On the regional front, SingTel – which reports its earnings today – grew its mobile user base sequentially by 12.8 million to end Q2 with 262 million subscribers across the eight markets it operates in.

India’s Bharti continues to be the best performer among SingTel’s six regional associates. Bharti added 8.4 million customers during Q2 to lift its subscriber base past the 100 million mark.

Indonesia’s Telkomsel grew its user base by 3.9 million sequentially, while Globe in the Philippines witnessed a decline of 713,000. Thailand’s AIS gained 320,000 customers in the three months ended June 30.

In Pakistan, Warid added 511,000 subscribers, while Bangladesh’s PBTL registered a sequential increase of 91,000.

SingTel’s Australian unit Optus attracted 213,000 customers in Q2 as a result of the strong demand for Apple’s iPhone and attractive subscription plans, the operator said.

Industry observers say SingTel’s subscriber base in Singapore and Australia could swell further in the current quarter with the launch of the beefed-up iPhone 3GS last month.

Due to supply constraints, BT understands the initial shipment of the new touchscreen handset has almost sold out in Singapore and a similar shortage appears to have surfaced in Australia.

The iPhone 3GS has turned out to be a bigger hit than its predecessors since it debuted on June 19 in eight countries. More than a million units flew off the shelves during the launch weekend alone.

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