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Global Economics

Vodafone Tops 200 Million Customers

Despite a number of sell-offs, the British operator picked up 8.7 million new subscribers in the last quarter. But only a fraction are 3G users

Vodafone has broken the 200 million customer mark, despite a number of high-profile sell offs in recent times.

The operator revealed today it has added an additional 8.7 million customers in the last quarter to break the 200 million barrier as of the end of January and has seen year-on-year revenue growth of 5.1 per cent.

CEO Arun Sarin described the figure as an "important milestone". The operator has recently divested itself of a stake in a Belgian and a Swiss operator as well as selling off its Japanese operations last year. It has equally made some acquisitions, including raising its stake in an Egyptian network and is currently considering a bid for Indian mobile player Essar.

However, of Vodafone's burgeoning customer base, a tiny proportion is third generation subscribers: the operator now has 13.6 million 3G users on its books after adding more than two million users in the quarter.

Vodafone attributes a 32 per cent year on year increase in data revenues to the growing number of third-gen users, as well as greater business services usage and penetration of higher end handsets.

Non-messaging data revenue now makes up just 5.3 per cent of Vodafone's non-voice service revenue.

Voice usage continues to increase for the operator, with a 17 per cent year on year increase globally, competition has kept voice revenue growth to 2.6 per cent.

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