Posts filed under ‘Asia’
Indian cellco Sistema Shyam TeleServices (SSTL) has announced that it has inked a seven-year deal with China’s ZTE for the provision of network equipment and infrastructure. Under the agreement ZTE will provide wireless and core network equipment for SSTL as the cellco looks to complete its pan-India rollout by 3Q 2010. Additionally, the two companies will ‘explore other collaborative possibilities going forward’. No financial details of the deal have been disclosed. SSTL has launched commercial CDMA-based services in the Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Kerala circles.
Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) says it added 64 million net new customers (+35%) in the year to 31 March 2009, to take its combined regional mobile customer base to 249 million. The group’s aggregate mobile customer base in all eight markets – Australia, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand – grew 7.3%, or 17 million on a sequential quarterly basis despite the intense competition in the markets and the slowdown in the economies. Meanwhile, the proportionate mobile customer base rose 33% from a year ago or 7% from a quarter ago, it said.
SingTel’s regional associates continued to post double-digit customer growth of between 10% and 52% compared to a year ago. Bharti, India’s number one mobile phone operator by subscribers, posted the biggest jump in customers: its mobile base reached 93.9 million customers as at 31 March 2009, an increase of 52% from a year ago or 9.7% on a quarterly basis. Indonesian cellco Telkomsel increased its base by 41% or 20.8 million from a year ago, and added 6.8 million new customers in 1Q09 alone, and grew its market share by three percentage points to 49% by end-March. Thailand and the Philippines, classed as ‘more mature markets’ by SingTel, also posted strong mobile customer additions. AIS in Thailand added 2.5 million mobile subscribers, up 10%, while Globe added 4.5 million mobile customers or 21% more than a year ago. In Pakistan, Warid grew its total customer base by three million to 17.4 million, an increase of 21% from a year ago. PBTL’s total mobile customer base in Bangladesh was 1.9 million, an increase of 315,000, or 20% on 1Q08. Elsewhere, Australian subsidiary Optus’ mobile customer base expanded 9.1% from a year ago to 7.79 million as at 31 March 2009.
In its home market, SingTel extended its market share and leadership position in the mobile segment it said, adding 405,000 new customers, or 16% more from a year ago, bringing its total mobile customer base to 2.98 million and extending its market share to 46.4% as at 31 March 2009, an increase of three percentage points from a year ago. A total of 34,000 new mobile customers were added during the quarter, of which 22,000 were post-paid net additions. Demand for 3G services continued to remain strong, with 72,000 subscribers added. As at 31 March 2009, SingTel’s total 3G mobile subscriber base reached 1.21 million, it said.
Softbank Mobile added more new users than its rivals for the 24th month running in April, aided in part from a price reduction on the Apple iPhone 3G. Data published by the Telecommunications Carriers Association (TCA) of Japan showed that Softbank added a net 105,400 contracts last month, keeping its nose just ahead of fourth-placed eMobile with a net gain of 102,800. The TCA said eMobile’s performance was buoyed by the bundling of a low-priced mobile personal computer and a datacard, which attracted both business and residential customers. Market leader DoCoMo took third spot with a net gain of 89,300 and au-branded KDDI Corp gained 57,500. PHS operator Willcom meanwhile, reported a net decrease of 10,600.
Southeast Asia’s largest telecommunications group, Singapore Telecom (SingTel), today reported that its aggregate regional mobile subscriber base stood at 232 million as at 31 December 2008, up 7.3% on a quarterly basis, and a 35% increase year-on-year. Despite stiff competition and the deepening global economic gloom, SingTel reported that each of its six mobile associates in the region – Thailand’s Advanced Info Service (AIS), India’s Bharti Airtel, Globe Telecom in the Philippines, Indonesia’s Telkomsel, Pacific Bangladesh Telecom (PBTL) and Pakistan’s Warid Telecom – posted double-digit subscriber growth ranging from 13% to 55% when compared to the same time at end-2007. Of these, India’s Bharti posted the single biggest jump in subscriber numbers to 85.65 million, up from 55.16 million as at 31 December 2007, SingTel said. The group’s wholly owned Ozzie unit Optus posted a 0.9% rise in mobile users over the year to 7.63 million, while in its home market SingTel had 2.94 million cellular customers, up 26% y-o-y. The Singaporean business also reported sustained demand for the Apple iPhone 3G device which helped push its domestic 3G mobile base up to 1.14 million, and 2.33 million for Optus in Australia.
Afghani cellco Telecom Development Company Afghanistan (known locally as Roshan), has announced that it has signed up its three millionth subscriber, reaffirming its position as the largest network operator in the country by users. In the last six months of 2008 Roshan added a million new active subscribers, which it claims is a result of its streamlined tariff structures, innovative services and expanded coverage; Roshan now reaches over 226 cities and towns across 33 of 34 provinces, covering 56% of the population. ‘Since its inception, Roshan has been committed to connecting the people of Afghanistan to each other and the world, which means providing choices that meet individual needs and aspirations,’ said Altaf Ladak, chief operating officer at Roshan. ‘The support and trust of Roshan customers has played a pivotal role in growing the Roshan family of subscribers to three million.’
PCCW’s minority shareholders yesterday approved a proposal to take the Hong Kong-based telco private, but the securities regulator will launch an investigation following allegations of vote-buying, reports Bloomberg. PCCW’s largest shareholder, chairman Richard Li, and major stakeholder China Netcom (part of China Unicom) offered HKD15.9 billion (USD2.05 billion), or HKD4.50 per share, for the remaining 52% of PCCW, and the offer was supported by more than 75% of stockholders. The deal requires High Court approval before the shares are delisted, and a hearing is set for 24 February. The Securities & Futures Commission immediately took possession of the voting records and will start investigating the buyout process, following allegations that insurance agents were offered stock in return for supporting the proposal. PCCW said it has ‘no knowledge of any improper share transfers.’ PCCW’s shares have lost 97% of their value since Li took control of the former Cable & Wireless HKT in 2000. The company has a market capitalisation of USD3.6 billion based on yesterday’s share price. The fixed line, broadband, mobile and TV operator saw its first-half net profits slump by 20% last year.
In other news PCCW yesterday confirmed that it plans to implement measures to cut its costs by up to 30%, including redundancies, but declined to divulge the potential number of jobs that will be lost. Union staff had earlier alleged that the group planned to lay off 600 employees, or around 5% of its workforce. PCCW has increased its staff total by 40% to 17,000 in the last four years.