EE approaches 10m 4G mobile phone customers

Telecoms group, which is being taken over by BT for £12bn, attributes success to double-speed 4G internet

EE, Britain’s biggest mobile phone operator, said it added more 4G customers than any company in Europe in the first quarter of this year.

The group, which is being taken over by BT for £12bn, lured a net 1.7 million 4G customers in the three months to the end of March, more than tripling the number of accounts to 9.3 million from a year earlier.

EE said it was confident of hitting its target of 14 million 4G customers this year and that it had extended its lead as Europe’s biggest 4G provider. The business also attracted a net 50,000 extra broadband internet customers, and said it was the UK’s fastest-growing broadband provider.

EE said the high takeup of its service was explained by its double-speed 4G. Almost half the new 4G connections were for the extra-fast service, which EE said was exclusive to it.

However, increasing customer numbers did not translate into higher sales. Operating revenue fell 1.1% to £1.47bn. Excluding regulatory costs, operating revenue fell 0.3%. Average revenue per mobile user fell 0.5% to £18.60.

BT is paying £12.5bn to buy EE from Orange and Deutsche Telekom to get back into the mobile market after 14 years. The deal will cement BT’s status as Britain’s biggest telecoms operator and allow it to sell bundled packages including broadband, pay TV and mobile services.

Neal Milsom, EE’s chief financial officer, said: “We are delivering strong, consistent commercial performance by giving our customers the best mobile voice and data network experience in the UK. As much of the UK market now has smartphones, we are leading the charge into new growth areas by cross-selling our innovative range of connected products including 4G tablets, 4G Wi-Fi, fixed broadband and EETV to our existing customers.”


Sean Farrell

The GuardianTramp

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