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Singapore Telecom mobile users in Asia top 74m


SINGAPORE, Nov 8 (AFP): Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. (SingTel) said today its aggregate mobile subsriber base in Asia exceeded 74 million users as of end September, up 31 per cent from more than 56 million last year.
The number includes SingTel subscribers in Singapore, wholly- owned subsidiary SingTel Optus in Australia and associate mobile phone companies in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand.
"As at 30 September 2005, SingTel and its associates had 74.04 million customers. This is the largest mobile customer base in Asia outside of China," the company, southeast Asia's largest telco, said in a statement.
SingTel's five regional associates saw their combined subscriber base rise 35.67 per cent to 66.37 million, with Bharti in India and Telkomsel in Indonesia among those which posted strong market expansion.
Subsidiary SingTel Optus added 59,000 new customers in the September quarter as its mobile customer base totalled 6.8 million, up 2.7 per cent from last year despite strong competition in the Australian market.
In Singapore, SingTel increased its mobile subscriber base by 5.26 per cent to 1.60 million amid intense competition from its two major rivals.
SingTel holds a 21.44 per cent stake in Thailand's Advanced Info Service, 30.67 per cent in India's Bharti Tele-Ventures, 44.61 per cent in Globe Telecom of the Philippines and 35 per cent in Telkomsel in Indonesia.
It recently purchased a 45 per cent stake in Pacific Bangladesh Telecom Ltd.