[Global Insight] Telecom Italia's mobile market share has dropped below 40% for the first time during 2008, as the former incumbent saw its subscriber numbers drop by 1.53 million to 34.77 million, a drop of 4% from 36.3 million at the end of 2007. Telecom Italia remains the market leader, but closest rival Vodafone Italia has increased its subscriber base to 29.96 million during 2008, up from 29.64 million at the end of 2007, and raising its market share to 33.8%. Third-placed operator WIND enjoyed the best growth of any operator, with a 1.445-million increase in subscribers to 18.08 million, representing a 20.4% market share—the first time the company has held over one-fifth of Italy's mobile customers. Hutchison's 3 Italia's subscriber base stayed virtually flat, ending 2008 at 8.88 million, but the company has maintained solid profitability, and now holds a 6.5% share of the mobile market. The Italian market lost a total of 135,000 customers over the year, closing with a total base of 88.58 million at the end of 2008, compared to 88.72 million at the end of the previous year, while penetration dropped from 152.6% to 152.4%.
Telecom Italia Loses 1.5 mil Mobile Subscribers as Vodafone and Wind Catch Up