About Optus
Careers Legal & Regulatory Sponsorship Media Centre Corporate Responsibility Network CoverageSingTel & Optus
SingTel's regional mobile subscriber base crosses 85-million mark
03 May 2006

Year-on-year growth of 31 per cent

Singapore, 3 May 2006 - Singapore Telecommunications Limited (SingTel) today announced that the aggregate number of its mobile subscribers in the region has exceeded 85 million.

As at 31 March 2006, SingTel and its associates had 85 million customers, a 31 per cent increase from a year ago. This is the largest mobile customer base in Asia outside of China.

On a proportionate basis, SingTel's subscriber base in the seven markets - Australia, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand - increased 28 per cent from a year ago to more than 33 million.

The strongest growth came from SingTel's two Asian mobile associates, Bharti and Telkomsel. On a year-on-year basis, Bharti posted record subscriber growth of 78 per cent while Telkomsel saw a 51 per cent jump in mobile subscribers.

In the quarter, SingTel Optus acquired 189,000 customers, expanding its mobile customer base to 6.49 million. This was almost a 10 per cent increase year-on-year. The growth was achieved despite continued fierce competition in the Australian mobile market.

In Singapore, SingTel continued to lead the mobile market. As at 31 March 2006, its mobile subscriber base increased to 1.66 million, of which approximately 130,000 were 3G subscribers. The take up of 3G services has accelerated due to positive response to SingTel's revised 3G price plans and the increasing appeal and affordability of new 3G handset models.

More details of the market and financial performance of the seven mobile operations will be available when SingTel announces its results for the quarter and the full year ended 31 March 2006 on 4 May 2006.

At a glance

  Aggregate Subscriber Base (million) SingTel's Proportionate Subscriber Base (million)
  Mar 06 Dec 05 Mar 05 Mar 06 Dec 05 Mar 05
Optus 6.49 6.30 5.92 6.49 6.30 5.92
SingTel 1.66 1.62 1.57 1.66 1.62 1.57
SingTel's regional associates 76.86 69.87 57.32 24.98 22.66 18.44
Total 85.00 77.79 64.81 33.13 30.58 25.93


About SingTel

SingTel, Asia's leading communications group, is reaping the benefits of an international expansion strategy which has been successfully developed over the last 15 years. With significant operations in Singapore and Australia (through wholly-owned subsidiary SingTel Optus), the Group provides a comprehensive portfolio of services that include voice and data services over fixed, wireless and Internet platforms.

SingTel Optus is a leading Australian integrated communications company. Since commencing operations in 1992, Optus has invested more than A$7 billion in the construction of fixed, mobile and satellite networks. Optus' mobile business unit has captured around one third of the total Australian GSM mobile market.

SingTel is also a strategic investor in four of the region's most successful mobile operations. It has a 21.42 per cent stake in Advanced Info Service (AIS), Thailand's largest mobile operator. In India, the Group has a 30.51 per cent effective interest in Bharti Tele-Ventures, 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 44.61 per cent stake in the company. SingTel has a 35 per cent stake in Indonesia's largest mobile operator, Telkomsel. It also has a 45 per cent equity stake in Pacific Bangladesh Telecom Limited (PBTL).

The SingTel Group had a turnover of S$12.62 billion (US$7.65 billion) and net profit after tax of S$3.27 billion (US$1.98 billion) for the year ended 31 March 2005. For the year, AIS, Bharti, Globe and Telkomsel contributed S$1.19 billion in pre-tax earnings (excluding exceptional items) to the Group. The four associates also contributed S$303 million in dividends for the year. More information can be found at www.singtel.com.

Media contacts:

Singapore: Australia:
Andrienne Tho Melissa Favero
Phone: +65 6838 4934 Phone: +612 9342 5030
Mobile: +65 9678 3697 Email: melissa.favero@optus.com.au
Email: andrienne@singtel.com