Business Watch – 3’s good UK results, slowing group losses, Ofcom shake-up

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Early shoots of recovery are in evidence at 3UK, with the business being the star performer in Hutchison Whampoa’s 3G telecoms empire during the first half of the year.

Reported sales fell five per cent, but once you strip out promotional discounts, turnover included in reported revenue in previous years, underlying revenue grew seven per cent, slightly above the rest of the market.

As industry expert James Barford at Enders Analysis pointed out, it was the rise of the datacard that delivered the lion’s share of 3UK’s new customers.

Lacking a fixed-line presence, 3UK chief executive Kevin Russell (pictured) has been eager to snap up punters wanting to surf on the go.

Its current marketing bumph, promising "Broadband without the need for a BT landline", is luring consumers in.

Such growth is quite neat for 3, as it doesn’t come at the cost of ritzy handset subsidies or high termination rates, both of which trim the margins on 3’s voice products.

Full article also discusses 3’s UK pricing and churn, and the possibility of spending on its network to cope with increased data traffic from high volumes of broadband dongle and data card sales. Also on the agenda, Ofcom’s latest proposals around terminationrates.

See Mobile News issue 422 (September 8, 2008).

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