Ofcom’s latest Telecoms Market Data Tables (Q2 2016) update has revealed that the United Kingdom is now home to a total of 24,858,000 fixed residential and small business broadband lines (up by 684,000 from a year previously); 10.91m (44%) of those are cable DOCSIS or fibre (FTTC/P/H) based.
Something odd seems to have happened to Ofcom’s data during Q1 2016 (here) and as such we’re hesitant to read too much into the related results, although you can see from the chart below that Q1 suddenly reported a huge decline in ADSL based copper line broadband subscribers (this seems to have been corrected in time for Q2).
Otherwise the predictable trend of ADSL subscribers migrating over to faster Cable (Virgin Media) and Fibre Optic based (FTTC/P/H/B) broadband lines has continued, although BT’s Consumer / Retail ISP continues to pick-up the lion’s share of new FTTC subscribers and thus their market share has increase to 32.8% (up from 32.4% at the end of 2015).
The update also reveals that the total number of fixed phone / exchange lines (including PSTN and ISDN channels) has fallen slightly to 33.55 million, which is down from 33.59 million at the end of Q1 2016. BT lost the most, while Virgin Media actually grew slightly, but the overall trend is still down.
A quick look at the detail shows that residential lines are still growing (26.08m in Q2 vs 26.01m in Q1), while business lines are where all the declines appear to originate (7.47m in Q2 vs 7.58m in Q1). It’s also noted that total fixed telephony revenues were £2.1bn in Q2 2016, which is up by £20m (0.9%) on the previous quarter and an increase of £58m (2.8%) compared to Q2 2015.
Meanwhile, on the Mobile telecoms front, the UK became home to 83.57 million mobile subscriptions in Q2 2016, which is down from 83.88m in Q1. Mobile telephony services generated £3.8bn in retail revenues in Q2 2016, up £22m (0.6%) compared to the previous quarter and a £37m (1.0%) increase compared to Q2 2015.
The total number of outgoing Mobile SMS and MMS messages was 23.7 billion in Q2 2016, a decrease of 0.5 billion messages (2.1%) compared to the previous quarter and a fall of 2.0 billion messages (7.8%) compared to a year previously.