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One in three Brits owns a mobile phone

Cellphone vendors cash-in on summer bonanza for pre-pay phones

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Almost three million UK punters bought a mobile over the summer - that's two phones sold per second. Which means that since you started reading this story, another 10 mobiles have been sold. Users were queuing up to swell the coffers of the mobile phone operators, with BT Cellnet beating off rivals by netting 923,000 subscribers in the three months to 30 September. Of these, only 74,000 were contract customers paying a monthly tariff. Vodafone AirTouch added 701,000 new users, and hung onto the largest piece of the pie with 6.84 million customers in the UK, beating BT Cellnet’s 5.95 million. Just 12,000 of Vodafone's new customers chose to have a contract. One2One brought 604,000 subscribers on board, making a total of 3.25 million users in the UK. The company, which was bought by Deutsche Telekom earlier this year, estimated that 51 per cent of its customers were on a pre-pay basis. Orange showed slowest growth with 520,000 additions, totalling 3.48 million users. However, it was the only company to make significant headway in contract customer growth. Over 20 million people now have a mobile in the UK - or one in three of the population. ®

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