4G adds up 224 per cent year on year. Operator now has 30 million connections after sharp rise in post pay, M2M and fixed line services. Wants 14m 4G by end of year
EE has maintained its position as the “biggest” 4G operator in Europe after adding 1.7 million 4G connections (including upgrades and migrations) during Q1, ending March 31.
The results, announced today (April 27) show the operator has now added more than 9.3 million 4G customers since the network went live in October 2012 – and is expected to hit 14 million by the end of the year.
In total EE added 110,000 new connections during the quarter taking its total base (including M2M and MVNO’s) to above 30.7 million.
These included 53,000 new post paid connections (up 3.3 per cent year on year) and 50,000 new broadband adds (up 19 per cent) during the quarter. EE described its performance in fixed line (including broadband) as its “best ever”, aided heavily by the launch of EE TV in November.
The additions helped boost EE financial performance, with turnover increasing 0.5 per cent to £1.541 billion, although operating revenue (including the impact of regulatory cuts) fell 1.1 year on year to £1,469 billion.
EE chief financial officer Neal Milsom said: “We are delivering strong, consistent commercial performance by giving our customers the best mobile voice and data network experience in the UK.”
The operator claims more than 96 per cent of all new connections were 4G, having abolished 3G connections on Orange and T-Mobile in February. Half of those selected EE’s £5 more expensive ‘Double Speed’ tariff – illustrating strong demand for high speed data amongst consumers, contrary to comments made by its rivals. There are also now 721,000 EE customers connected to its Shared 4GEE plans.
Additions have been helped following EE’s continued 4G roll out plans, which now shows 87 per cent UK population coverage, with double speed available to 67 per cent.
Mobile data spend was up five per cent across EE base, whilst fixed line revenues increased 15 per cent, marking a 13th consecutive quarterly rise.
Postpay now make up 61 per cent of EE connections, at 14.9 million. Postpay ARPU was marginally down from £28.80 a year ago to £27.70, whilst churn remained at 1.2 per cent for the fourth year in a row.
EE also revealed tablet sales on contract increased 59 per cent year on year whilst mobile WiFi contracts were up 25 per cent in the same period. Around 1.22 per cent of contract customers now have an additional connected product as part of their deal, up 3.6 per cent year on year.
“We are leading the charge into new growth areas by cross-selling our innovative range of connected products including 4G tablets, 4G WiFi, fixed broadband and EETV to our existing customers,” added Milsom.
EE also strengthened its position in B2B, claiming to now have more 7,700 medium and large companies using its 4G services. New contract wins included Uber, GANT UK and Rotary Watches and Norfolk and Suffolk Constabularies. EE is said to have around 26 per cent market share in B2B.
Whilst post pay remained strong, prepay numbers continued to decline, plummeting 195,000 (7.2 per cent) during the quarter Q1. Prepay now makes up 9.3 million connections on EE, falling from 10.1 million a year ago. Prepay ARPU dipped seven precent from £4.3 a year ago to £4 in Q1.