How much is a broadband customer worth to an ISP? A shade over 500 bucks, it seems.
That, roughly speaking, is what WA-based iiNet CEO Michael Malone has agreed to pay NZ Telecom for the 115,000 Internet subscribers of its Australian subsidiary AAPT. IiNet late last week made a successful $60 million bid for AAPT’s consumer customers, heading off any alternative bid from David Teoh’s TPG group.
IiNet also scores a claimed 230,000 AAPT voice customers, but – given the rapidly declining revenues from fixed-line voice – these are very much the lesser part of the deal.
Malone sets great store by the numbers, which add to his existing 530,000 broadband subscribers, and put him handily ahead of TPG as Australia’s No. 3 ISP.
But he may face problems in hanging on to them: many were wooed by AAPT’s “unlimited” data downloads offerings, which Malone may not be eager to match when they come up for renewal.
– Footnote: somebody needs to tell IDG’s Computerworld Australia to calm down. Getting a tad excited by the AAPT-iiNet deal, Computerworld at the weekend declared that iiNet had now overtaken Optus as Australia’s No. 2 ISP.
Really? Well, not quite, at least as CDN reads the figures. Optus had 920,000 fixed broadband customers at March 21, along with 907,000 wireless broadband subscribers, according to the SingTel annual report, We make that something like 1.82 million Internet subscribers, compared with iiNet’s 645,000, post the AAPT acquisition. – Ed.