The Czech Republic was home to a total of 13.57 million mobile phone users at the end of December last year, according to operator data as quoted by the Prague Daily Monitor. The country’s three incumbent cellcos – Telefonica O2 CR, T-Mobile and Vodafone and Vodafone – collectively added more than half a million net new additions, raising the cellular penetration rate to 131%. Of the three, Vodafone registered the largest single gain, adding a net 230,000 new users for a total of 2.89 million, while market leader T-Mobile posted a net gain of 150,000 to close the year with 5.42 million customers. Meanwhile, the country’s second largest operator Telefonica O2 CR accrued an additional 140,000 net new customers for a total of 5.26 million.
Market saturation and fierce sector competition has resulted in a drop in blended monthly average revenue per user (ARPU), prompting cellcos to focus their efforts on launching new services to squeeze additional revenues from existing users. Vodafone again topped the revenue table with ARPU of CZK583 (USD26.42) per month in 2008, ahead of Telefonica with CZK519 and T-Mobile’s CZK500.