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Mobile frenzy boosts market values

Phone-in-a-box schemes prove big seller in run up to Christmas

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Mobile phone companies saw their market values leap following bumper sales in the run up to Christmas. Some 2.5 million mobiles were sold prior to Christmas - three and a half times the number sold in Christmas 1997. In Q4 98, Vodafone added 933,000 new connections to its lists, a 287 per cent increase on the same period last year, and saw £2.25 billion added to its market value - which is currently £32 billion. Cellnet saw the biggest rise year-on-year with 658,000 new subscribers - a 341 per cent increase on Q4 97. Orange boosted its new member numbers by some 294 per cent - 512,000 new Orange users joined in Q4 98, compared with 130,000 who joined in Q4 97. One-2-One added 439,000 new users to its ranks, an increase of just 113 per cent on the number of new members in Q4 97. Analysts predict that by the year 2000 some 39 per cent of the UK population will have a mobile phone. The rapid uptake of mobile phones has been attributed to the popularity of pre-paid services. ®

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