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EE experiences slower broadband growth in Q2

Telecoms firm EE has revealed its second quarter financial results, which indicate that growth of its home broadband business is slowing, with just 35,000 new users compared to 50,000 in Q1.

However, the British firm is unlikely to be overly concerned at the news, as broadband figures usually struggle during Q2 as students cancel contracts over the summer months.

The Q2 report also showed that the network operator’s 4G offering is continuing to develop and is now available to 90 per cent of the UK population, marking a growth of 3 per cent compared with the first quarter. EE’s double-speed 4G service, which offers download speeds of up to 60Mbps, is also improving its coverage, now reaching more than 70 per cent of the population.

In terms of actual user figures, EE now has 10.9 million 4G users, after attracting an additional 1.5 million during the second quarter. Although this represents a slight dip in its growth rate, EE still believes it is on course to reach its year-end target of 14 million 4G users.

EE CEO Olaf Swantee believes that the second quarter results demonstrate the strong position that his company holds in the market.

“Our established leadership in 4G and key differentiators such as Wi-Fi calling are working well for the business," he said. "We’re the clear network market leader and this, combined with our strong operational performance, has led to a return to revenue growth while delivering our best ever EBITDA margin."

In terms of overall finances, the quarter went well with turnover increasing from £1,541 million in Q1 to £1,566 million and related operating revenue also up to £1,505 million. On the other hand, the most recent Ofcom report did find a disappointingly high number of consumer complaints centring on EE’s service. The network saw complaints increase for both their fixed line and fixed broadband services.

Fiona Cincotta, a senior market analyst at Finspreads (opens in new tab) commented: "EE has reported a return to revenue growth after posting Q2 revenue of £1.5 billion, 2.2% per cent greater than the same period last year and ending a revenue slump that has plagued it for several years; in Q2 2013 the firm reported revenue decline of 4.4 per cent and in Q2 2014 a decline of 0.9 per cent.

"The firm´s impressive results have been boosted not only by continued strength in its 4G customer base, which now nears 11 million, but also by enterprise elsewhere in the firm. For example EE´s focus on the fixed broad band space, using TV to drive broadband additions has paid off by adding 35,000 new fixed broad band customers in the quarter putting them well on track to hit 1 million broadband customers by the end of 2015.

"The outlook remains bright for EE who have done well to turn their fortunes around and we are finally seeing the benefits of the merger between T-Mobile and Orange."

Barclay has been writing about technology for a decade, starting out as a freelancer with IT Pro Portal covering everything from London’s start-up scene to comparisons of the best cloud storage services.  After that, he spent some time as the managing editor of an online outlet focusing on cloud computing, furthering his interest in virtualization, Big Data, and the Internet of Things.