Optus nearly doubles mobile broadband customers in FY09/10

Hybrid Fibre Coaxial network on track to deliver NBN-like speeds in late 2010

Strong demand in the Optus’s mobile phone business has seen the Singtel (ASX:SGT) subsidiary’s financial year 09/10 revenues increase eight per cent year on year to $8,949m.

The growth, detailed by Singtel in its Annual Report to shareholders, was fuelled by a 13 per cent surge in mobile revenues driven by demand for smartphones, wireless broadband, and the telco’s unlimited plans.

Some 709,000 new mobile customers were attracted to Optus during the financial year while mobile broadband customers almost doubled to 907,000 users.

Business and Wholesale Fixed revenue rose just two per cent during the financial year, held back by declines in business voice and modest corporate data usage.

Revenue in Optus’ Consumer and Small and Medium Business fixed line businesses fell three per cent.

During the year the company grew its Optus branded retail stores from 123 to 222, while the rollout of its 3G Dual Band mobile network saw coverage expand to 97 per cent of the population.

The telco also said it had invested significantly in its network to better support mobile data use growth, with 600 new mobile sites installed during FY09/10 to improve coverage.

On the broadband front, upgrade work also commenced on the company’s Hybrid Fibre Coaxial cable network. The network will deliver NBN-like speeds up to 100 Mbps to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane in late 2010.

Major contract wins during the financial year included a $500 million deal with ANZ bank, a $187 million deal with the Australian Taxation Office, and a $60 million piece of business with Brisbane City Council.

A four-year wholesale deal with Dodo worth $160 million, and a mobile virtual network operator deal with Woolworths was also signed.

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