EMT continues to dominate market
TALLINN - EMT, the mobile communications subsidiary of the Eesti Telekom group, announced it had 601,400 customers at the end of March, or what the company estimates to be 47 percent of the Estonian market.
The number of users has grown steadily from 595,400 at the end of 2004 and 507,500 at the end of March 2004. EMT's contractual customers at the end of March amounted to 377,800, up from 363,400 in December 2004 and 318,900 a year ago.
"Operators' special offers to contractual customers have led to a reduction in the number of pre-paid call cards," Eesti Telekom said in a statement.
The group's first quarter results were also positively affected by the introduction of mobile number portability in January, which allows users to switch mobile service providers but keep the same number. Number portability is required by EU regulations.
According to the Communications Board, only about 19,600 customers have changed service providers during the three months.
EMT estimates that the mobile penetration in Estonia has risen to about 95 percent, signifying that an increasing number of customers are using more than one mobile telephone number. This, in turn, has inevitably led to a reduction in the volume of services used and revenue earned per number, the EMT release explained.
In March 2005, EMT posted an average revenue per user of 341 kroons (22.1 euros) per active mobile telephone number, compared with 356 kroons in December 2004 and 391 kroons a year ago.
The company also noted positive developments in fixed-line communications, where growth in areas such as Internet, IT and data communications almost made up for the reduction in revenue from voice communications.
Since the beginning of 2005, the fixed-line subsidiary Elion has begun entering the market for television image transmission. This year the company will restrict itself to new buildings and will concentrate mostly on the testing of various technologies.
In the coming years, however, service packages incorporating voice communications, Internet connection and TV image provision should become an important competitive advantage for Elion in the eyes of households.
Eesti Telekom last week announced that first quarter earnings amounted to 344 million kroons (22 million euros), up 7.9 percent year-on-year, and total revenues 1.2 billion kroons.
Earnings per share came to 2.49 kroons, up from 2.32 kroons per share in the first quarter of 2004.