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Increased customer numbers and improved performance in the UK and Germany has prompted O2 to up its revenue forecast, the cellco announced today.

In the UK, O2 - which yesterday confirmed the launch of its i-Mode wireless internet service - reports that its business has "continued to trade strongly" in the six months to the end of September.

The number of punters continued to grow and it also managed to reduce the total of customers leaving the service. As a result, the total number of UK subscribers has passed 15m for the first time.

With a better-than-expected performance, net service revenue growth for the full year is now expected to be between six and nine per cent, compared to earlier predictions that it would only hit growth of "mid-single digits".

Said boss Peter Erskine in a statement: "The strong growth that we reported across all our businesses in the first quarter was maintained into the second quarter, and this will be reflected in our first half results."

Elsewhere, Deutsche Telekom (DT) has dismissed reports that the giant telco is preparing to make an £18bn bid for O2. Weekend press reports suggested that DT was on the verge making an offer following the collapse of a joint bid with Dutch telco KPN.

But speaking yesterday DT's top beancounter told reported that the telco has "no interest" in O2. ®

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