News Releases

Singtel Group’s regional mobile customer base surpassed 200-million mark

  • Combined mobile customer base grew 37% year-on-year to reach 217 million

  • Strong quarterly growth of 9.6%

  • More than 1 million Singtel 3G mobile subscribers in Singapore

Singapore, 11 November 2008 -- Singapore Telecommunications Limited (Singtel) today announced that the Group’s combined mobile customer base reached 216.7 million as at 30 September 2008.
 
Year-on-year, its aggregate mobile customer base in the eight markets – Australia, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand – rose 37%.  Compared to a quarter ago, the growth was a strong 9.6%.
 
The proportionate mobile customer base reached 77.14 million, an increase of 36% from a year ago or 9.0% from a quarter ago.
 
Bharti and Telkomsel achieved record quarterly net adds
 
Compared to a year ago, the six regional associates grew their mobile customer bases by between 15% and 59%.
 
Bharti continued to achieve new heights in customer additions.  It added a record 8.1 million mobile customers in the quarter to bring its mobile customer base to 77.48 million.
 
In the three months to 30 September 2008, Telkomsel also attracted an unprecedented 8.06 million new customers.  Compared to a year ago, it grew its total mobile customer base by 36% to 60.5 million.
 
AIS gained 810,000 new customers during the quarter, giving it a total of 26.78 million mobile customers.
 
Globe saw a quarterly rise of 1.01 million net mobile customers.  Its total customer base of 23.75 million as at 30 September 2008 was an increase of 24% compared to a year earlier.
 
Warid added 668,000 new customers during the quarter, and for the year, grew its total base by 36% to 16.16 million mobile customers.
 
Year-on-year, PBTL also saw a double-digit growth in customer net adds to bring its total mobile customer base to 1.75 million.

Strong postpaid growth for Optus
 
Optus’ mobile customer base rose to 7.42 million as at 30 September 2008, a 7.6% increase compared to a year ago.
 
During the quarter, it continued to build scale, attracting 182,000 new customers including a record 128,000 postpaid net adds.  Underlying net adds would be at 213,000 and postpaid net adds at 159,000 if the one-off churn of 31,000 postpaid customers effected this quarter by a wholesale partner was excluded.
 
The strong postpaid customer growth was driven by demand for iPhone 3G, Optus’ “Timeless” plans and Optus’ suite of wireless broadband plans.
 
Optus also increased its 3G subscriber base to 2.16 million. It continued with the expansion of its 3G HSPA mobile network, enhancing the quality and speed of mobile services across Australia. As at 30 September 2008, the 3G network provided coverage to approximately 90% of the population.

Highest quarterly increase in Singtel postpaid base in recent years
 
In Singapore, Singtel gained 121,000 mobile customers in the quarter, bringing its total base to 2.87 million. This was a 35% increase from a year ago or 4.4% from a quarter ago.
 
The quarterly additions included 76,000 prepaid and 45,000 postpaid customers.  The growth in the number of postpaid mobile customers is the highest quarterly increase in recent years. This reflected the strong take-up of the iPhone 3G as well as the success of Singtel’s targeted acquisition initiatives.
 
Singtel attracted 109,000 new 3G subscribers during the quarter.  The strong demand pushed its 3G mobile subscriber base past the 1 million-mark for the first time.  As at 30 September 2008, Singtel had 1.07 million 3G mobile subscribers in total.
 
Regional mobile customer base at a glance
 
Aggregate
Customer Base (in 000s)
Proportionate
Customer Base (in 000s)
30 Sep 08
30 Jun 08
30 Sep 07
30 Sep 08
30 Jun 08
30 Sep 07
Singtel
2,874
2,753
2,130
2,874
2,753
2,130
Optus
7,420
7,238
6,894
7,420
7,238
6,894
Bharti
77,479
69,384
48,876
23,073
20,690
14,620
Telkomsel
60,503
52,442
44,457
21,176
18,355
15,560
AIS
26,775
25,965
23,204
5,717
5,543
4,962
Globe
23,749
22,738
19,222
11,243
10,764
8,553
Warid
16,158
15,490
11,867
4,847
4,647
3,560
PBTL
1,746
1,704
1,321
786
767
594
Group total
216,704
197,714
157,971
77,136
70,757
56,873
 
Details on the performance of the regional associates will be available when Singtel announces its results for the second quarter and half year ended 30 September 2008 on 12 November 2008.
 
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About Singtel
 
Singtel is a strategic investor in the region’s most successful mobile operations. It has a 21.35% stake in Thailand’s Advanced Info Service (AIS). In India, it has a 30.44% effective interest in Bharti, the country’s largest GSM operator. One of Singtel’s earliest investments in the region is Globe Telecom in the Philippines. Today, it has a 47.34% stake in Globe. Singtel has a 35% stake in Indonesia’s largest mobile operator, Telkomsel.  It also has a 45% equity stake in Pacific Bangladesh Telecom Limited (PBTL) and a 30% equity interest in Warid Telecom inPakistan. More information can be found at www.singtel.com and www.optus.com.au.