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SingTel's regional mobile subscriber base hits 29 million
01 Nov 2002

Very strong quarter-to-quarter growth of 17 per cent

Singapore, 31 October 2002 - Singapore Telecommunications Limited (SingTel) today announced that its aggregate mobile subscriber base in the Asia Pacific is nearly 29 million. While mobile penetration growth is slowing in most developed markets, SingTel's associates in the region continue to record strong growth in customer numbers.

As at 30 September 2002, the combined mobile subscribers of SingTel (Singapore), SingTel Optus (Australia), Advanced Info Service (Thailand), Bharti Group (India), Globe Telecom (Philippines) and Telkomsel (Indonesia) stood at 28.9 million, an increase of 16.5 per cent compared to the combined base of 24.8 million as at 30 June 2002.

On a proportionate basis, SingTel's regional mobile subscriber base, as at 30 September 2002, increased by 16.5 per cent to 12.0 million over the preceding three months.

Regional co-ordination

The six regional mobile partners co-operate closely in areas such as equipment procurement and product development. An excellent example is the Asia Java Mobile Challenge, launched in June this year, to find application development talents and interesting content. Twenty applications have been shortlisted from more than 1,000 registered participants from 23 countries worldwide.

SingTel, Optus, Globe, AIS and Telkomsel have also launched Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS), and MMS roaming between Singapore, Australia and the Philippines is already available.

Highlights

Singapore

  • SingTel's mobile subscriber base increased to 1.51 million as at 30 September 2002.
  • About 73 per cent of customers are on postpaid plans.
  • A strategic focus on customer retention resulted in the monthly post-paid churn rate continuing to decline.
  • Data services contributed 11 per cent of mobile revenues.

Australia

  • Optus' mobile subscriber base increased 2.7 per cent over three months to 4.34 million as at 30 September 2002.
  • Revenue from mobile data services reached 10 per cent of total mobile revenue for the quarter. This was up from 9 per cent for the June 2002 quarter.
  • Optus' postpaid ARPU went up during the quarter.
  • Optus continues to win new corporate and business mobile customers. Business mobile revenues increased during the September 2002 quarter compared to the
    preceding quarter.

Regional markets

The aggregate subscriber base of SingTel's four regional mobile associates* increased 20.4 per cent over the last three months to 23.0 million.

India

Bharti's 2.29 million mobile subscribers equates to a market share of 27 per cent. Bharti has consolidated its position as India's largest mobile service provider.

In August 2002, Bharti became the first telecom company in India to cross the two million mobile subscriber mark. And when Bharti launched mobile services in Mumbai, it registered a record number of 100,000 new customers in just 40 days.

With the August launch of mobile services in the circle of Gujarat, Bharti offers mobile services in 15 circles, covering 16 states and 94 per cent of mobile users in India. Bharti continues to grow and expand. Over the past 12 months, Bharti commenced 16 new operations, scaled up its mobile networks from 650 sites to 2,650 sites and added 2,000 employees.

Indonesia

At the end of September 2002, Telkomsel had close to 5 million customers and is the clear leader in Indonesia with 52 per cent market share.

Telkomsel has the largest network coverage of any of the cellular operators in Indonesia, providing network coverage to approximately 80 per cent of Indonesia's population. It has a total of over 3,000 base stations.

In September 2002, Telkomsel received the Indonesian Customer Satisfaction Awards for both its prepaid and postpaid products.

Telkomsel launched commercial GPRS and MMS services in early October 2002.

Philippines

Globe Telecom registered another quarter of strong growth. Mobile subscribers increased by almost 525,000 in the third quarter, which translated to a 20.4 per cent increase over the preceding quarter's net additions.

*Comprising AIS (21.6% stake), Bharti (28.5% stake), Globe (29.1%) and Telkomsel (35.0%)

Globe remains a strong player in the Philippines market, and has been steadily increasing market share. Its market share has increased from 42 per cent as of March 2002 to 44 per cent as of June 2002.

Thailand

AIS remains Thailand's largest mobile operator with 9.75 million subscribers as at 30 September 2002, a 24.4 per cent increase since June 2002.

It continues to maintain a dominant market share of over 60 per cent. This confirms its brand strength that has allowed it to withstand fierce competition in the Thai cellular market after the entry of a third operator in March this year.

In line with its continuous efforts to grow non-voice services, it commercially launched its MMS service in August this year.

About SingTel

SingTel is Asia's leading communications company with a comprehensive portfolio of services that include voice and data services over fixed, wireless and Internet platforms. Serving both the corporate and residential markets, SingTel is committed to bringing the best of global communications to its customers in the Asia Pacific and beyond.

SingTel has extensive interests in submarine cable and satellite systems, including its co-owned ST-1 satellite and the pan-Asian C2C cable network. Its infrastructure development strategy is to ensure that its networks remain modern and efficient, and continue to meet the needs of its customers.

The SingTel Group has expanded into overseas markets, with investments in many countries and territories. In Australia, its wholly owned subsidiary, SingTel Optus is a leader in integrated communications - serving more than five million customers. The Group's major investments include Advanced Info Service of Thailand, the Bharti Telecom Group of India, Globe Telecom of the Philippines and Telkomsel of Indonesia.

SingTel has been recognised Best Asian Telecom Operator by industry publication, TelecomAsia, for five consecutive years since 1998. The Group's turnover for the year ended 31 March 2002 was S$7.34 billion (US$4.02 billion). More information can be found at www.singtel.com.