TeleGeography CommsUpdate: Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) is reportedly set to introduce 5G connectivity in the near future, with CEO Inaki Berroeta saying on the publishing of its annual financial results: ‘We are very excited to be pushing ahead with our plans for 2020 by delivering our first 5G sites within weeks, with the initial rollout to continue throughout the year.’ Adding to this, Berroeta confirmed that these sites would be the first of more than 650 that are currently in the progress of being built, while he added that ‘several thousand’ sites will be constructed ‘over the coming years’.
Turning to the cellco’s financial performance, meanwhile, VHA recorded a total turnover of AUD3.523 billion (USD2.33 billion) in FY 2019, down 2.8% from the AUD3.626 billion recorded in the previous fiscal year. EBITDA for the twelve-month period under review was AUD1.179 billion, representing a 6.9% annualised decline, while the company recorded a net loss of AUD279 million in 2019, compared to a net loss of AUD124 million in 2018.
In operational terms, VHA said its total mobile network customer base stood at 5.744 million at 31 December 2019, a 4.6% y-o-y drop; of the total 3.416 million were post-paid subscribers (Dec-18: 3.454 million) and 2.018 million were pre-paid (2.209 million), with MVNO accesses accounting for the remaining 310,000 users (356,000). Monthly mobile ARPU, meanwhile, was AUD33.35, compared to AUD35.05 in FY 2018.