ATHENS — Stet Hellas today announced that its total customer base increased by 79% for the 12-month period ending 31 March 1999. Net additions bring the number of Telestet customers in Greece as of 31 March 1999 to 797,301 from 444,244 at the end of the same period in 1998.
Growth in both contract and pre-paid customer bases demonstrated that the company was off to a fast start for the year -- customer growth in 1Q99 (108,687 net adds) was more than double that of 1Q98 (52,908 net adds). Customer additions in 1Q99 resulted in a 16% increase over the 1998 year-end, customer base total of 688,614.
Of its new total customer base, the company reported that 446,512 (56%) were contract subscribers and 350,789 (44%) were customers of the company's pre-paid service, B Free by Telestet. The 1Q99 growth in B Free service was 170% greater than in 1Q98. Pre-paid service is an increasingly popular choice in Greek mobile telephony.
The 1Q99 results reflected the company's strategy of providing services to targeted customer segments and of enhancing its retail distribution network in an expanding market. The mobile telephony market in Greece has more than doubled in the past year to include more than 2 million subscribers.
As part of its retail expansion plan, the company has entered a strategic partnership with Germanos, Greece's largest retail telecommunications products and electronics chain, and continued to establish new relationships with a number of independent dealers. Also, Telepolis, the company's wholly owned subsidiary, is developing an exclusive network of Telestet franchise dealers, including 10 company-owned stores.
Stet Hellas Telecommunications S.A. is at the forefront of the mobile communications industry in Europe. To its growing base of more than 797,000 customers in Greece, the company's Telestet brand stands for innovative services and the latest in communications technology. The company's shareholders include Stet Mobile Holdings NV, Bell Atlantic and the Interamerican Group. Its stock is publicly traded on the NASDAQ (STHLY) and Amsterdam (STHLS) exchanges. Internet users: For more information, visit the Stet Hellas web site at www.telestet.gr.