SingTel – BT

SingTel gains more handphone customers

Total of 3.2m – a 46% share of the market – cements its leading position

SINGTEL said its total handphone customers in Singapore grew to 3.2 million by end-December 2009, up 8.1 per cent from a year ago.

According to the company, it added 81,000 new customers in the quarter. This brings its total mobile customer base to 3.2 million, cementing its lead in the market.

SingTel’s estimated market share is 46.2 per cent based on the latest data from regulator Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore.

The telco reports its third quarter results today.

SingTel said its iPhone offerings helped drive strong demand and contributed to 36,000 new postpaid customers, up from 30,000 in the previous quarter. It also gained 45,000 prepaid customers with targeted acquisition promotions.

In the region, the group said on an aggregate basis, the combined mobile customer base rose to 285 million as at Dec 31, 2009, an increase of 23 per cent, or 52 million from a year ago.

Besides its wholly owned Australian Optus, SingTel also owns stakes in telcos in India, Indonesia, Thailand, Bangladesh, Pakistan and the Philippines.

SingTel’s largest associate Bharti added 8.4 million mobile customers for the quarter, up from 8.1 million a quarter ago. Its mobile customer base as at Dec 31, 2009, increased 39 per cent, or 33.2 million from a year ago, to 118.9 million.

Last November, SingTel announced plans to raise its stake in the Indian operator from 30.43 per cent to 31.95 per cent through the purchase of an additional 730,000 shares.

Its Indonesian associate Telkomsel grew its mobile customer base by 25 per cent, or 16.3 million from a year ago, to 81.6 million.

Optus said postpaid customers grew a record 164,000 during the quarter, to more than four million as at Dec 31, 2009.

During the quarter, Optus tightened its churn policy for customers who remained inactive after various recharge campaigns, and deactivated 272,000 prepaid customers. This resulted in a decline of 145,000 Optus prepaid customers for the quarter with total prepaid customers of 4.2 million as at Dec 31, 2009.

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