TPG's mobile business takes $19m dive

TPG's mobile business takes $19m dive

Summary: While major telcos have reported significant growth in mobile broadband customers, TPG Telecom's mobile phone subscribers shrank by 12,000 customers over the past six months.

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TOPICS: Telcos, TPG
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While major telcos have reported significant growth in mobile broadband customers, TPG Telecom's mobile phone subscribers shrank by 12,000 customers over the past six months.

TPG's mobile business, which accounts for about a quarter of its overall revenues, has declined 6 per cent over the past year as TPG continued to lose high paying Soul Mobile subscribers. The decline in Soul Mobile was largely offset by increases in its TPG mobile service; however, the shift from Soul to TPG saw its mobile revenues for the half year fall $19 million from $62 million for the period last year to today's $43 million.

Last year TPG had 219,000 customers in total on mobile services, with 180,000 of those under Soul Mobile. Soul Mobile customers net the company $48 per customer each month while TPG Mobile customers bring in about $25 per month. Currently just 85,000 customers remain on Soul Mobile, while its total subscriber base is now at 208,000.

Overall, however, the change had negligible effect on the company's earnings, with fixed line broadband picking up the slack to deliver half-year revenues of $241 million.

TPG has revealed strong fixed line broadband growth over the past six months, adding 54,000 customers, which netted it a total of 442,000 fixed line customers as at 31 January 2010. The company now has 304,000 "on net" customers connected to its own ADSL network, putting it on par with fellow ISP, iiNet.

The ISP's push to increase its "on net" customer base has seen it double the profitability of its fixed line business from $28 million in the half year ending January 2009 to $50 million for this half year. TPG today reported having 352 ADSL exchanges on its network, about 50 more than when it acquired Soul in 2008.

It also outlined that its acquisition of Pipe Networks has netted it a dark-fibre network that reached over 75 datacentres, 200 Telstra exchanges and 500 buildings across Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.

The ISP bumped its profit guidance for the 2010 financial year up $10 million to between $152 million and $158 million, but warned the figures excluded an impact of the recently approved Pipe acquisition. Last year its earnings before income tax, depreciation and amortisation was $120 million.

TPG had not responded to ZDNet.com.au's request for comment at the time of writing.

Topics: Telcos, TPG

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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