Celcom Axiata, a leading 4G/5G mobile network operator in Malaysia, reported a mobile subscriber base of 9.38 million, as of 3Q 2022.
The mobile network operator (MNO), now part of the newly merged celcomdigi lost around 118k mobile subscriptions between July, August and September 2022. It had 9.5 million mobile subscribers in 2Q22.
There are 6.14 million prepaid subscriptions at the end of September. Celcom lost around 117k prepaid subscriptions in 3Q22.
Celcom’s postpaid subscriber base remains unchanged since June 2022, at 3.25 million.
ARPU for postpaid and prepaid was higher at RM81 (+RM1) and RM31 (+RM1) respectively.
About 84.5% of the mobile susbcriber base are data users consuming an average data of 26.2GB per month in 3Q22. Celcom says that 94% of the mobile subscriber base are smartphone users.
Supporting over 14 million subscriptions, including MVNO users, Celcom’s 4G coverage improved slightly to 96.35% nationwide in human populated areas. 4G LTE-A coverage was at 90.29%.
The mobile network operator claims that its network investments have resulted in increased 4G LTE pop coverage nationwide, with over 10 states and 3 Federal Territories having over 97% 4G LTE pop coverage. As part of the Jalinan Digital Negara (JENDELA), Celcom also improved 4G LTE pop coverage within rural areas in Sabah, Sarawak, and Pahang, with a total of over 4,400 sites upgraded with new capacities, coverage enhancements, and optimization.
In a statement, Celcom said its strong performance continued in the third Quarter of 2022, with the company continuing its upward momentum as revenue ex-device rose by 3.9% YTD to RM4,578 million, driven by prepaid revenue and contribution from new Enterprise subsidiaries. EBITDA increased +12.4% to RM2,288 million, underpinned by on-going cost management resulting in lower opex and higher debt recovery, while PATAMI rose by 65.3% to RM856 million, despite being offset by higher taxes from Cukai Makmur.
Commenting on Celcom’s sustained performance and growth momentum over the last three years, Chief Executive Officer Datuk Idham Nawawi said “Our strong performance over the quarters is the result our strategic transformation program that has touched every part of our organisation, from GTM to how we plan and run our network, including how we manage our cost base. We delivered a great financial performance in all key metrics, whilst gaining market share in a very competitive market and a challenging macro environment.
Over the past 3 years, Celcom has invested over RM1.8billion to cater for a significant growth in traffic demand. YTD Data traffic increased by 73% to 1.778 TB compared to 1.025 TB 3-year ago, while the average monthly usage per user increased by 75% to 26.2GB in the third quarter of 2022 compared to 14.9GB in the first quarter of 2020. The data utilisation trend is currently stabilizing with a slight increase of 5.1% compared to the previous quarter.
“Addressing surging Data Traffic growth remains our top priority. We aim to be a reliable service provider that delivers consistent network performance to our customers. Our national network improvements include upgrading more 7,000 sites, expanding more than 2,000km of fibre nationwide, upgrading our network core capacity to 3.3Tbps from 0.8Tbps, including our core networks in Sabah and Sarawak. We also implemented a range of network optimisation activities across the country,” Idham said.
“Our products and services remain affordable to our customers, especially with our Unlimited Prepaid plans, despite the significant increase in data utilisation. Our network experience has also been resilient: we have added over 1 million new subscribers, improved average download speeds by 49%, and significantly reduced customer complaints as well as network outage incidents. Our transformation allows us to be more effective in deploying our network capex and network operational cost that has improved by 28%, resulting in savings of RM733million,” Idham added.