Vodafone customer numbers sink, again
Vodafone customer numbers sink, again

A much-hyped turnaround strategy has failed to stem the tide for Vodafone Australia, with the county's number-three telco losing a further 137,000 mobile subscribers over the past six months.

Following on from its loss of more than one million mobile customers the 2012-2013 financial year, the customer exodus means the telco's user base is less than five million for the first time in four years - when not including wholesale customers.

The company described the results as "mixed".

"Although VHA's operating performance today has improved, industry growth was subdued in the saturated consumer mobile segment," the company said.

"The relatively inert customer base was another hurdle to acquiring new customers."

Vodafone has battled to regain trust around its brand and network following the disastrous network dropouts earlier this decade.

Its brand image took another hit in WA last month when thousands of WA customers were left without service after a transmission failure, bringing back the "vodafail" moniker that has haunted the company.

Vodafone Australia's previous chief executive Bill Morrow, who left the company in March to join NBNCo, declared Vodafone would report positive subscriber growth by mid-2014 as part of his three-year turnaround plan.

However his replacement Inaki Berroeta has been less assertive, telling _The West Australian _in a recent interview that customer numbers would "level out soon".

The company has been banking on its big data plans and cheap international roaming offers to carve out a niche from Telstra - which dominates the sector with 15.8 million customers - and Optus 15.8 which has 9.43 million.

The West Australian

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