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Global Telecoms Business
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Omnitel: gaining recognition as leading wireless player

01 October 1999

Omnitel Pronto Italia is the second biggest cellular operator in Italy, one of Europe's most dynamic wireless markets. The operator already has over eight million subscribers. It recently launched an innovative Internet-related product, Omnitel 2000 for the fledgling data market . Newly-appointed CEO Vittorio Colao comments on developments in Italy.

Italy boasts one of the highest cellular penetration levels in Europe, exceeding the 40% barrier. Omnitel has obtained about 33% market share and is now entrenched as the second wireless operator behind Telecom Italia Mobile in Italy. By the end of 1999, it expects to have ten million subscribers. John Jensen, a telecoms equity analyst at Salomon Smith Barney, comments: "So far they have been a fantastic company. They started one year later than Orange, for example. They have three times the subscriber base of Orange in a market with the same kind of population. They have twice the EBITDA mark of Orange. They have just done fantastically really. The question is: can they keep that track record with increased penetration and competition? So far they have proved that they can."

In July Omnitel announced that its profits had risen 182.5%, with revenues up 83.7% on the same time last...