EE boasts most 4G subscribers in Europe

EE continues to grow its 4G subscribers, but its sales remained flat during the third quarter of 2014

Mobile network operator (MNO) EE has grown its 4G subscriber base fourfold compared with the same quarter in 2013. It now boasts the most 4G customers in Europe, with nationwide coverage passing 75% – as assessed by RootMetrics.

EE added 1.4 million customers in the third quarter to the end of September 2014, taking the total to 5.6 million. More than 6,200 corporate accounts are now using 4G.

In its third quarter statement, the MNO said 82% of postpaid customers were now opting for 4G, with a third of those going for its double-speed service.

It now claims to have more than 60% of its consumer and business-to-business (B2B) base on postpaid plans, delivering six times more average revenue per user (ARPU) than prepaid plans.

EE also saw substantial growth on fixed revenues and booked 18,000 new broadband customers ahead of the launch of its EE TV smart-television service.

However, the growth in subscribers masked flat operating revenues of £1.52bn, down by 1.2% year-on-year on a comparable basis. EE chief financial officer (CFO) Neal Milson blamed a highly competitive environment and “significant regulatory pressures on revenues” for the sluggish showing.

EE said its three-year, £1.5bn investment programme continued to bear fruit, with Ofcom’s recent announcement that it had the highest call-success rate in the UK testament to that.

The firm plans to continue this investment, ploughing more money into Wi-Fi calling options and rural coverage.

Some of its investment will also be directed towards its retail presence. Having recently acquired 58 retail locations from defunct Phones 4u, EE said it planned to strengthen its direct sales presence.

It is also repatriating 1,000 customer service roles with the opening of new customer service centres in the Midlands and Northern Ireland.

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