With penetration reaching over 120 per cent, Vodafone Spain just managed to outperform the market leader, Telefonica, during Q1/08 by recruiting (on a proportionate basis) more users.
Telefonica finished the quarter with just over 23 million customers, having managed an annual growth rate of 5.5 per cent, and recorded a very slight improvement in market share to finish Q1 on 46.5 per cent.
Vodafone Spain finished the quarter with a market share of 29.9 per cent. In real terms, its customer base stood at 14.79 million, up 790,000 year on year. While this is lower than both the previous year's figure of 1.25 million net additions and Telefonica's 1.19 million, in proportionate terms Vodafone grew by 5.6 per cent, the highest growth rate on the market excluding start-up Xfera.
France Telecom's Amena, with a 22.4 per cent share of the market, was the slowest growing by some margin with an annual increase of just 0.2 per cent. Having lost 370,000 customers in Q2/07, Amena rebounded with quarterly net additions of 230,000 and 170,000 in Q3 and Q4, but Q1/08 saw the loss of 7,000, leaving the annual gain at a paltry 26,000.
Most observers believe it is too late for the 3G operator Xfera to penetrate the Spanish market given its lowly 1.1 per cent share with 560,000 subscribers.