Optus boosts mobile subscriber numbers as SingTel grows

Optus has announced a 17 percent year-on-year growth in mobile subscribers during the June quarter, with the increase achieved despite the high penetration of mobiles in Australia.Optus' owner, Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel), yesterday said the Optus growth was part of a rise in the group's aggregate mobile subscriber base of around 5 million during the three months ended 30 June 2004.

Optus has announced a 17 percent year-on-year growth in mobile subscribers during the June quarter, with the increase achieved despite the high penetration of mobiles in Australia.

Optus' owner, Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel), yesterday said the Optus growth was part of a rise in the group's aggregate mobile subscriber base of around 5 million during the three months ended 30 June 2004. This pushed the total number of subscribers of SingTel-associated companies to more than 52 million.

The combined mobile subscriber base of SingTel, Optus and the four regional associates grew 40 per cent from about 37 million a year ago.

SingTel's proportionate subscriber base in the six markets -- Australia, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand -- increased 41 percent to 21 million during the same period.

Optus acquired 168,000 customers during the quarter, bringing its base to 5.7 million. Optus Zoo, the company's mobile information and entertainment portal, registered a customer increase during the quarter of more than 860,000.

SingTel's four Asian mobile associates -- Advanced Info Service, Bharti, Globe and Telkomsel -- all posted strong subscriber growth year-on-year, ranging from 18 percent to more than 100 percent.

Telkomsel in Indonesia was strengthened by a US$620 million investment last year in network infrastructure expanding its coverage areas.

Despite intense competition in the Thai mobile market, AIS maintained its 58 percent market share due to its lifestyle segmentation strategy.

In India, Bharti enjoyed a strong growth with a market share of about 21 percent in the overall wireless market or 26 percent in the GSM market.

In Singapore, SingTel maintained its subscriber base at more than 1.5 million.

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