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France Telecom holds fort in third quarter

Bouygues Telecom is persisting with its efforts to acquire rival operator SFR

European carrier France Telecom said Thursday that EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) dropped 5.4 per cent year on year during the third quarter of 2009 to €4.56bn from €4.8bn last year.

Group revenues also took a slight hit, falling 3.7 per cent year on year to €12.7bn, with the weakest performing units identified as Poland and the UK.

The group had 189.1 million customers at the end of September, after adding 11.7 million customers over the last year. Mobile customers rose to 128.8 million, up 9.5 per cent year on year, with 3.3 million net adds during the third quarter. At the same time, Orange’s MVNO customer base in Europe rose 35.5 per cent year on year to 3.8 million customers at 30 September 2009 (including 2.1 million customers in France), compared with 2.8 million customers a year earlier.

ADSL broadband services grew to 13.4 million customers at the end of September 2009, up 6 per cent year on year, with 2.9 million digital TV subscribers (up 67 per cent year on year), 7.3 million VoIP subscribers (up 22 per cent year on year) and 8.5 million Livebox subscribers (up 14 per cent year on year).

Yesterday search giant Google got a major boost in the mobile market, when Orange announced a deal to put Google Mobile App on the homescreens of customers in Europe.

The multi-year strategic agreement will see Orange launch Google Mobile App across its footprint in a phased approach across a large range of Orange Signature phones.

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