Palestine’s incumbent telecom operator, PalTel, showed strong gains in 2011 with net operating revenue up by 9.4% to reach $522 million, compared with $477 million at the end of year 2010.
The company, which faces increasing competition from Palestine’s second operator, Wataniya, said that its net profit increased by increased 5.1% to $128 million by the end of year 2011, up from $122 million at the end of 2010.
The increase was driven by a “dual strategy” of maintaining customer loyalty and winning new customers across all segments, the telco said in statement. The growth in customer base was achieved across all core businesses including fixed line services.
PalTel said that the individual operating revenues of its mobile, fixed line and data segments grew by 9.7%, 4.6%, and 81.4% respectively.
The number of fixed line subscribers on PalTel’s network reached 385,000 subscribers, a rise of 6.1% compared the end of 2010.
The average monthly revenue per fixed line subscriber reached $21.1 at the end of year 2011, compared with $20.2 at the end of FY-2010.
Mobile subscribers grew by 7.4 % to 2.42 million at the end of 2011 compared with 2.26 million at the end of 2010. About 90% of these subscribers were pre-paid.
Sabih Masri, chairman, PalTel, said that the company’s strong results came despite a “difficult year of increased competition, regional turmoil and lingering financial crisis” in global markets.
Ammar Aker, CEO, PalTel, added that the company aimed to gain more market share in the Palestinian Territories in 2012. "We continue to be challenged by regional and global upsets in the financial markets affecting the general investment climate, despite the fact that our operational results are healthy and upward oriented,” he said.
PalTel faces increasing competition in Palestine with Wataniya Palestine eroding its mobile market share in the West Bank. Palestine's telecom regulator, the MTIT, is also pushing forward with plans to allow utility companies to compete with PalTel in the fixed line sector.