Mobile operator EE today revealed just 318,000 customers had signed up to its 4G services in its first five months since launch, despite it being the only network to offer the faster mobile connectivity.
The numbers were released as part of the company’s first quarter (Q1) results, which showed a 5.4% drop in service revenue year-on-year to £1.4bn – a loss that is reduced to 0.4% when new roaming regulations and mobile termination rates were taken into account.
The operator also revealed it had signed up over 1,600 medium and large enterprises – defined as customers with more than 50 employees – to its 4G services. These include the RAC, Tate & Lyle and Reed Recruitment, but EE would not break the figure down further to reveal how many of each.
EE is the only UK operator currently offering 4G services after Ofcom allowed it to repurpose existing spectrum late last year to run the faster network over.
It has a goal of signing up one million customers by the end of 2013, but will face competition from the other networks after they launch their 4G services in the summer, made possible by Ofcom’s 4G spectrum auction in February.
The firm remained positive, however, with EE’s chief financial officer (CFO), Neal Milsom, saying the results were “in-line with expectations” and “good progress” had been made.
“We expect to strengthen our industry leadership position in the year ahead as the 4G roll-out continues and we introduce double-speed 4GEE,” he added.
The company signed up 166,000 contract customers in the first quarter – up from 151,000 in the first three months of 2012 – and improved its average revenue per user (ARPU) by 2.2%. It also claimed 82% of its contract customers are now using high value smartphones, up 11% year-on-year.