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Last Updated: Monday, 23 January 2006, 07:41 GMT
Christmas customer boost for O2
O2 store
O2 operates in the UK, Germany and Ireland
Mobile phone firm O2 has said it added a forecast-beating 1.75 million new customers over the Christmas period, taking its total to 27.4 million users.

In its last quarterly figures as an independent company, O2 said it added 895,000 customers in the UK, 823,000 in Germany, and 32,000 in Ireland.

The UK firm has agreed an 18bn ($31bn; 25.8bn euros) takeover by Spain's Telefonica, after getting EU approval.

However, O2 said average revenues per user (ARPU) had dropped year-on-year.

ARPU stood at 272 in the UK and 338 euros in Germany, its two main markets.

Business dovetail

Earlier this month the European Union approved Telefonica's takeover of O2 after the Spanish firm agreed competition terms.

In order for the deal to go through, Telefonica has agreed to withdraw from an international mobile phone alliance.

The two firms are hoping O2's businesses in the UK, Germany and Ireland will dovetail well with Telefonica's operations in Latin America and Spain.

Telefonica has about 145 million customers and about 173,000 staff.

Regulators had been worried that if Telefonica remained in the alliance, 02 would also have become part of it, making the company less likely to accept roaming calls from firms that were not members.

Also in the roaming alliance are Deutsche Telecom, France Telecom and Telecom Italia.

EU approves Telefonica's O2 bid
10 Jan 06 |  Business
O2 buoyed by surging user numbers
14 Nov 05 |  Business
Deutsche Telekom rules out O2 bid
02 Nov 05 |  Business
Telefonica bids 18bn for UK's O2
31 Oct 05 |  Business
Q&A: O2's 18bn Spanish takeover
31 Oct 05 |  Business

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