The UK’s largest mobile carrier EE has announced its first quarter earnings, revealing 9.3 million 4G LTE customers with an ambitious goal of 14 million by the end of the year.
It is a 1.7 million increase on last quarter’s report, with 96 per cent of customers choosing one of EE’s “4GEE Extra” plans - 50 per cent of the 4G customers chose the double-speed plan, which EE claims is available to 67 per cent of the UK population.
The numbers make EE the largest 4G carrier in Europe, outperforming Deutsche Telekom in Germany or Orange in France; EE’s current owners.
EE has big plans for 4G LTE in the coming quarters, announcing 400 Mbps speeds tested at Wembley Stadium, alongside plans to reach 99 per cent of the population with 4G and 90 per cent of the population with voice coverage by 2017, as part of Ofcom’s initiative for rural connectivity.
In terms of revenue EE announced a 15 per cent growth year-on-year for the 13th consecutive quarter, although operating revenue with regulatory impacts dropped to -1.1 per cent year-on-year.
EE is continuing to put up strong numbers, with growth on its fiber optic business as well, despite poor customer satisfaction rates. The likelihood of the broadband service remaining after the BT acquisition seems unlikely.
BT is still in the midst of a battle with Ofcom and its own investors over the acquisition, which will cost the group £12.5 billion to complete. It will give them quad-play services: landline, broadband, TV and mobile, which seems to be important in the current market.
The strong performance of EE should make for a cushion profit for BT, especially with reports the group plans to axe a lot of the support and engineering staff, replacing them with its own when the deal is accepted.