Celcom Axiata, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Axiata Group now has 9.38 million mobile subscribers. The Malaysia-based 4G Telco added 157,000 new mobile subscriptions during the period of July, August and September 2021.
It had 9.22 million mobile subscribers at the end of June 2021 (2Q21).
At the end of September 2021 (3Q21), Celcom had 6.22 million prepaid subscribers. It added 103k new prepaid subscriptions during 3Q21, up from the 6.12 million prepaid subscribers it had at the end of June 2021 (2Q21).
There are now 3.16 million postpaid subscribers as of 3Q21, compared to 3.11 million in 2Q21. Celcom has managed to sign up 54k new postpaid subscriptions during the month of July, August and September 2021 (3Q21).
82.3% of the mobile subscriber base are Celcom mobile Internet users, consuming an average 25.4GB a month. Some 91% are its user base are smartphone users.
Celcom did not reveal the number of its home fibre customers.
Celcom’s 4G LTE population coverage is now at 94% (93% in 2Q21) nationwide while there are no changes to its 4G LTE-Advanced coverage which is still at 90% since 2Q21. Last week, Celcom said it built 250 new Telecommunication sites and optimised some 8,000 site with improved 4G coverage and capacity across the country, however details of the “optimisation” was not shared with MalaysianWireless when asked.
The Telco said its network investments have rapidly increased the 4G LTE human population coverage especially in Sabah, Pahang, Terengganu, Sarawak, Negeri Sembilan and Kedah, over the past 9 months.
Celcom’s 2G and 4G network currently caters over 14 million users, including Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO) users from Tune Talk, XOX Mobile, redONE and others.
For the financial quarter under review, Axiata Group said that Celcom maintained its growth momentum, with an addition of approximately 1 million subscribers YoY. Revenue ex-device YTD increased 4.6% driven by strong prepaid performance and sustaining postpaid momentum. Excluding one-off impact of Employee Restructuring Programme (ERP), EBITDA and PATAMI grew faster than top line from cost saving initiatives. EBITDA was up 7.3% with better credit and inventory management, as well as cost optimisation efforts, while PATAMI increased 6.9% impacted by accelerated depreciation, cushioned by lower net finance cost. Free Cash Flow (FCF) expanded by 27.7% as a result of EBITDA improvement and lower capex.
Commenting on Celcom’s resilient 3rd quarter performance for 2021, Datuk Idham Nawawi (picture), Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Celcom Axiata Berhad said “Celcom’s growth trajectory has been the result of our continuous focus on operational cost management and accelerated network investments, complemented by a strong market performance by our sales team and a competitive product portfolio.”
“Our customers enjoy one of the highest throughputs with our network. We will continue to invest in our network and address the rapid data traffic growth, ensuring that our network reaches out to all societies, including the most remote areas in Sabah and Sarawak. We are modernizing our network with the latest network technology, including 8T8R RAN technology, that will significantly improve mobile capacity and user experience. Our network improvements also include the cessation of 3G services which will enable us to allocate more network and spectrum resources to 4G LTE, making our network ready for 5G.
“Our continuous focus on operational cost management has enabled positive cost savings whilst maintaining profitability. With an encouraging subscriber growth, including user growth from MVNOs, Celcom’s cost-saving initiatives do not affect or burden our customers, but enable us to offer more innovative products and services at affordable prices, especially in the Enterprise market,” Idham said.