Continuing boom lifts Vodafone subscribers

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The Independent Online
VODAFONE, the mobile telephone group, took on 155,000 net new subscribers in the second quarter, almost three times the number for the same period in 1993, writes Mary Fagan.

The company says it has more than 1.3 million customers, and that the boom in mobile telephones shows no signs of diminishing.

City analysts said the increase was above most expectations and had been helped by advertising by Vodafone and its rivals. The industry has been boosted by marketing campaigns by Mercury One-2-One, the mobile telephone network launched in September by Cable and Wireless and US West, and by Orange, the rival network launched in April by Hutchison Telecom.

Gerry Whent, Vodafone chief executive, said: 'We continue to perform strongly in a growing market. During the past 12 months we have continually developed in the higher spending business market. We believe Vodafone has more subscribers than all the other UK mobile phone operators put together.'

Last week, Cellnet, owned by BT and Securicor, said its subscriber base grew by 128,500 net in the second quarter, compared with 54,750 in the same period last year. Cellnet's total customer base is now about 1.15 million, of which 410,000 are on the lower-cost tariff package aimed at the general public rather than business executives.

A higher proportion of Vodafone's customers are on business tariffs.