Sunday, June 11, 2023

Celcom has 8.4 million Subscribers as of 3Q20, Major Network Upgrades in 2021

Celcom Axiata has 8.4 million mobile subscribers, as per the latest third quarter 2020 (3Q20) financial report from the Axiata Group. Celcom is subsidiary of the Axiata Group.


The mobile Telco added 373,000 new subscription between July, August and September 2020, up from the 8.03 million mobile subscriptions it had as of June 2020 (2Q20).

Its Prepaid subscription base stood at 5.44 million, adding 339,000 new subscriptions from 5.1 million in 2Q20.

As for Postpaid, Celcom reported 2.96 million prepaid subscribers, up from 2.93 million in 2Q20. It added 32,000 new postpaid subscriptions in 3Q20.

Prepaid ARPU is up by RM2 to RM32 while ARPU for Postpaid remains unchanged at RM84.

About 80.5% of its mobile user base are data (Internet) subscribers with an average data usage of 18.5GB/user a month in 3Q20 (vs 19.6GB in 2Q20).

Some 86% of Celcom mobile subscribers are smartphone users.

4G human population coverage improved to 94% (vs 93% from March 2019 to 2Q20) and 4G LTE-A coverage stood at 84% in 3Q20 (vs 81% from March 2019 to 2Q20).

In a media statement sent out early this month, Celcom said it is accelerating approximately RM256million of network investments to upgrade its network capacity and deploy more 4G base station towers nationwide, improving 4G coverage and quality, in both rural and urban areas.

Some 8,300 4G network sites nationwide are expected to be upgraded by end of 2021.

From now until February 2021, Celcom targets a total of 4,700 network sites, 49% in urban areas and 51% in rural areas, to be upgraded and optimised with capacity upgrades, installation of new 4G equipment and core network optimisation programs. This also includes upgrading and optimising almost 1,000 4G network sites in Sabah and Sarawak, said to improve Celcom’s 4G coverage in rural areas.

A Celcom 4G Base Station (network site) in rural area.

Furthermore, Celcom will upgrade an additional 3,600 network sites with more capacity to address video buffering issues and deliver better voice quality, including Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) for consumers, targeted to be completed by August 2021.

“All upgrading and optimisation works are planned accordingly to ensure minimal or no impact on our network services. These improvements also focus on delivering better in-building coverage from 4G LTE base station towers, a wider 4G coverage in rural areas, especially in Sabah and Sarawak, and improved download speeds. This will enable the delivery of high definition (HD) 720p video experience for more customers and an improved voice quality with Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE)” Idham Nawawi, Chief Executive Officer of Celcom Axiata Berhad said.


For the latest financial quarter, the Telco said its overall growth recorded an improved QoQ profitability with EBITDA improved by RM139mn (+24.2%) and PATAMI by RM94mn (+64.5%) respectively. Prepaid revenue improved by +13.0% QoQ on the back of higher subscriber base with “strong traction” from Celcom Xpax’s ‘Truly Unlimited’ plan; ARPU grew+RM2 QoQ. Postpaid revenue QoQ improved by +1.6% with a resilient ARPU of RM84 and an increased subscriber base.

“Our Q3 performance has been the result of our continued efforts and initiatives throughout the quarter, and we will work tirelessly to raise the quality of our 4G network coverage and experience by speeding up our network investments. Part of our strategy remains to continue our focus on ‘Operational Excellence’ and to innovate our products, services and offerings to achieve sustainable growth. We look forward to maintain our industry leadership position as Malaysia’s widest network provider and deliver the best experience and value to our customers,” Idham said.

Kugan is the co-founder of MalaysianWireless. He has been observing the mobile industry since 2003. Connect with him on Twitter: @scamboy

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