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Vodafone breaks 200m customer barrier

Mobile operator now has 3G penetration at around 7 percent after adding more than two million users in the quarter
Written by Jo Best, Contributor on

Vodafone has broken the 200 million customer mark, despite a number of high-profile sell offs in recent times.

The operator revealed today it has added an additional 8.7 million customers in the last quarter to break the 200 million barrier as of the end of January and has seen year-on-year revenue growth of 5.1 percent.

Chief executive Arun Sarin described the figure as an "important milestone". The operator has recently divested itself of a stake in a Belgian and a Swiss operator as well as selling off its Japanese operations last year. It has also made some acquisitions, including raising its stake in an Egyptian network, and is currently considering a bid for Indian mobile player Essar.

However, of Vodafone's burgeoning customer base, a tiny proportion is third-generation subscribers: the operator now has 13.6 million 3G users on its books after adding more than two million users in the quarter.

Vodafone attributes a 32 percent year-on-year increase in data revenues to the growing number of third-generation users, as well as greater business services usage and penetration of higher-end handsets.

Non-messaging data revenue now makes up just 5.3 percent of Vodafone's non-voice service revenue.

Voice usage continues to increase for the operator, with a 17 percent year-on-year increase globally; competition has kept voice revenue growth to 2.6 percent.

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