EE adds 493,000 4G customers in Q3 to take base to 1.2m


Number of subscribers using superfast network up 72 per cent sequentially as operator adds 181,000 contract customers in the quarter

EE added 493,000 4G customers in Q3, up 72 per cent from the close of the previous quarter, to take this base to 1.2 million subscribers. The operator said this establishes it as Europe’s fastest growing 4G operator.

Reaching this number also means EE has exceeded its target of amassing one million 4G customers four months early.

4GEE has now been rolled out to 117 towns and cities, with plans to cover 140 by the end of the year. EE is also the only operator to offer double speed 4G, which is currently available in 20 cities.

EE added 181,000 contract customers in the quarter, driving this base by a further 5.7 per cent. However, this was down from the 216,000 contract customers added in the previous quarter and the 250,000 added a year ago. It means 56 per cent of its base are contract customers, delivering six times higher ARPU than prepay.

However, EE did lose 345,000 prepay customers, adding the revenue trend is in line with the industry shift towards contract. Contract churn was 1.1 per cent, down 0.1 per cent but resulting in the tenth consecutive quarter at 1.2 per cent or below.

Mobile ARPU was up 3.3 per cent year-on-year excluding regulation and up 0.5 year-on-year to £19. ARPU including the impact of regulation was up 0.5 per cent, which EE said was driven by continued contract customer growth.

Service revenue including the impact of regulation fell 3.3 per cent year-on-year £1.44 billion, while data revenues was up 12 per cent to 43 per cent of ARPU. EE said 64 per cent of new or upgrading contract customers selected 4G contracts or 4G-ready devices, up eight per cent from the previous quarter.

Eighty five per cent of EE’s contract base are now using smartphones, up from 83 per cent in Q2 and 74 per cent from the same three month period a year ago.

EE now has more than 3,200 companies using 4G, including ASDA, BT, Canon, Expedia, Kimberley-Clark and Virgin Media. Its M2M base also grew 26 per cent in the quarter to 1.6 million customers, with an agreement for future connections also signed with RAC.

EE chief financial officer Neil Milsom said: “Consumers and businesses across the UK are recognising that EE has the best network for the smartphone era, with more superfast 4G coverage than all the other networks combined. We attracted half million 4G customers in the quarter and large companies including ASDA, BT, Canon, Expedia, Kimberly-Clark and Virgin Media selected EE’s network to help grow their businesses.”