Orange, one of the youngest mobile operators, claims it has overtaken market leader Vodafone in UK network coverage.
Speaking at the company?s preliminary results announcement, Hans Snook, managing director, said Orange?s network now covers 96 per cent of the UK?s population, with 3,501 core sites in its digital infrastructure.
Last year it added 100 sites per month to its network - 40 more than its rivals, claimed Snook. Orange estimates Vodafone, Cellnet, and One2One to operate 3,250, 2,700, and 2,200 sites respectively. Orange claims it will be operating 40 per cent more core base stations than rivals by the end of the year.
?We took over 25 per cent of total net growth and grew our marketshare from 11.5 per cent to 14.2 per cent,? said Snook. Orange?s churn rate - the number of subscribers who drop out - at 15.2 per cent, is also half the industry average, he claimed. However, the number increased from last year?s total of 12.4 per cent.
Snook said Orange will be working towards replacing fixed wire phones with mobiles, and expects in around two years' time to offer attractive office and home-zone tariffs. However, he did not dismiss signing fixed mobile convergence contracts with fixed suppliers.
Vodafone has already signed deals with Energis and Racal Telecom to offer customers services such as integrated billing.
Group turnover increased by 49 per cent to #914 million, with Orange Mobile?s turnover jumping 67 per cent to #626 million. Group pre-tax losses reduced by 39 per cent to #139 million.
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