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SingTel's regional mobile subscriber base increases to 78 million
07 Feb 2006

Year-on-year growth of 26 per cent

Singapore Telecommunications Limited (SingTel) today announced that its aggregate number of mobile subscribers in the region has increased to 78 million.

As at 31 December 2005, SingTel and its associates had 77.79 million customers, a 26 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 22 per cent from a year ago to cross the 30 million mark to about 31 million.

On a year-on-year basis, SingTel's three Asian mobile associates - Advanced Info Service, Bharti and Telkomsel - posted strong subscriber growth, ranging from 8 to 66 per cent. Bharti and Telkomsel continued to enjoy strong market growth. Collectively, their customer base increased 55 per cent from a year ago. Globe's net disconnection was 5,000 in the quarter, which is significantly lower than the 1.2 million recorded in the preceding quarter.

SingTel Optus achieved renewed mobile growth in the quarter by acquiring 212,000 customers, expanding its mobile customer base to 6.30 million. The growth was achieved despite intense competition in the Australian mobile market.

In Singapore, SingTel increased its subscriber base to 1.62 million in spite of challenging market conditions. During the quarter, SingTel added 20,000 mobile customers, with about equal increases in the number of prepaid and postpaid customers.

In November 2005, SingTel improved its competitiveness in the prepaid market by introducing new prepaid plans. SingTel had approximately 55,000 3G customers as at 31 December 2005.

More details of the market and financial performance of the seven mobile operations will be available when SingTel announces its results for the third quarter and nine months ended 31 December 2005 on 8 February 2006.

At a glance

  Aggregate Subscriber Base (million) SingTel's Proportionate Subscriber Base (million)
  Dec 05 Sep 05 Dec 04 Dec 05 Sep 05 Dec 04
Optus 6.30 6.08 6.20 6.30 6.08 6.20
SingTel 1.62 1.60 1.54 1.62 1.60 1.54
SingTel's regional associates 69.87 66.37 53.82 22.66 21.59 17.35
Total 77.79 74.05 61.56 30.58 29.28 25.09

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 21.43 per cent stake in Advanced Info Service (AIS), Thailand's largest mobile operator.

In India, the Group has a 30.57 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 @ www.singtel.com.

Media contacts:

Singapore: Australia:
Chia Boon Chong Melissa Favero
Phone: +65 6838 2022 Phone: +612 9342 5030
Mobile: +65 9678 3716 Email: melissa.favero@optus.com.au
Email: boonchong@singtel.com