Hutchison Telecommunications International Ltd (HTIL) has expanded its subscriber base to 11.58 million on the back of steady gains made in India and other Asian markets. Despite increased market competition, the Hutchison Whampoa communications businesses subsidiary saw its worldwide subscriber numbers grow 7.6 per cent in the quarter to September from 10.75 million in the second quarter. 'We continue to show strong growth in our worldwide customer base, with all our major operations posting growth in their customer bases,' HTIL chief executive Dennis Lui Pok-man said. 'At the end of the third quarter, our customer base was 36 per cent larger than at the start of the year.' HTIL operates mobile communications networks in the emerging markets of India, Thailand, Paraguay, Sri Lanka and Ghana. It also operates GSM cellular networks in Israel and Macau. It offers 3G mobile services and fixed-line telecommunications services for corporate and retail customers in Hong Kong. Operations in India showed the most dramatic growth, with 6.35 million subscribers at the end of the third quarter. That was up from 5.75 million in the previous quarter. Hong Kong and Macau saw a modest increase to 2.17 million subscribers from 2.11 million in the previous quarter. HTIL chief financial officer Tim Pennington said that the company's average revenue per user (arpu) levels had been broadly maintained. 'We continue to manage our businesses proficiently,' Mr Pennington said. Still, HTIL's arpu in India fell to 583 rupees ($103) in the third quarter from 591 rupees in the previous quarter even though the number of postpaid subscribers rose. Its arpu in Thailand dropped to 927 baht ($183) from 1,137 baht, as the number of prepaid customers increased. In Hong Kong, arpu declined to $151 from $152. Despite those numbers, Mr Lui said HTIL had no plans to change its business strategy. 'We are not prepared to sacrifice margins for short-terms gains as some of our competitors appear to be doing,' he said.