Operator has its best quarter for 4G additions but overall customer numbers fall by 700,000 to 30.7 million
EE added 889,000 4G customers in Q1 to take the base using the service to 2.9 million – its best three month period for 4G connections. The operator said it is confident of exceeding six million by the end of the year.
From this, half of new and upgrading Orange and T-Mobile contract customers selected 4G, with more than a quarter of new customers opting for the operator’s exclusive double speed 4GEE Extra plans.
There are also 5,100 medium and large businesses are now on 4GEE, with Fujitsu, NEC and Europcar signed up in the quarter.
On Friday the operator announced its 4G service was now available in 200 towns and cities, with the addition of 13 new locations. It now reaches 72 per cent of the UK population or 46 million people.
EE added 214,000 contract mobile customers, including M2M, down from the 271,000 additions in the previous quarter. It said that 59 per cent of its consumer and b@b base are on contract plans, delivering six times higher ARPU than prepaid, which saw its base reduce by 321,000 in the quarter.
Its MVNO base reached 3.66 million, up 3.2 per cent year-on-year, following the completion of its MVNO agreement with BT last month. EE now has a total of 30.7 million customers, down from 31.4 million a year ago.
Churn was steady at 1.2 per cent, the twelfth consecutive quarter at 1.2 per cent or below, while ARPU increased year-on-year by 40p to £18.70.
Turnover was down by 3.6 per cent from the same quarter a year ago to £1.548 million, while operating revenue was £1.486 million, down by 1.7 per cent including the impact of regulatory cuts but up 0.8 per cent excluding the impact of regulation.
EE chief financial officer Neal Milsom said: “We are delivering strong, consistent commercial performance and continue to successfully create value. We signed up nearly 900,000 4G customers in a single quarter, with over one in four new customers opting for EE’s exclusive double speed 4GEE Extra plans.”