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EE Home Broadband Growth Slows as UK 4G Coverage Hits 90 Percent

Monday, July 27th, 2015 (8:32 am) - Score 940

Mobile giant EE has reported their latest Q2 2015 results today, which revealed that the operators 4G network coverage had reached the 90% (population) milestone. Elsewhere their fixed line home broadband subscriber growth slowed to total 919,000 (up by +35K in Q2 vs +50K in Q1 and +44K in Q4 2014).

The operator, which is currently the subject of a major on-going £12.5bn merger deal with BT (approval is expected by the end of this year), claims that their revenue from fixed-line services has continued to grow (+18% year-on-year) and this is apparently being driven by a “successful cross-selling strategy and EETV“.

Never the less EE’s home broadband growth has clearly slowed significantly since the first quarter, although it’s important to stress that Q2 is often a dip month for ISPs because of seasonal student movements (i.e. contracts get cancelled as many thousands return home for the summer). Indeed last year’s Q2 2014 growth was worse with +30,000 net adds.

But this month the good news comes from their mobile side, which has expanded the operator’s 4G population coverage from 87% in Q1 to 90% now. Additionally EE’s faster “double-speed” 4G service is now available to more than 70% of the UK (up from 67% in Q1); some 50% of consumer postpaid customers are also choosing the related 4GEE Extra plans.

The operators 4G (LTE) subscriber base has similarly grown by +1.5 million in the quarter to total 10.9 million, which represents a small dip from the +1.7 million added in the previous quarter. However this means that EE are still roughly on target to meet their year-end goal of 14 million 4G customers.

Olaf Swantee, CEO of EE, said:

Our established leadership in 4G and key differentiators such as Wi-Fi calling are working well for the business. 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.

The business continues to focus squarely on improving customer satisfaction and on cross-selling our innovative range of consumer and B2B 4G connected products.”

Admittedly EE hasn’t had the best quarter in terms of consumer complaints either, which is highlighted by Ofcom’s most recent report (here) and lest we not forget that they were recently fined £1m after Ofcom found that its rules for governing how ISPs should handle customer complaints had been broken (here).

As the old phrase goes, “It takes a lifetime to build a good reputation, but you can lose it in a minute.” Customers may also be nervous about BT’s impending merger deal, since the national incumbent also tends to suffer from quite a few consumer gripes.

On the financial front EE’s quarterly turnover improved slightly to £1,566m in Q2-2015 (up from £1,541m in Q1) and their related operating revenue stood at £1,505m (up from £1,469m). All in all they seem to be doing well, despite a somewhat difficult climate.

Leave a Comment
3 Responses
  1. Avatar PeterM says:

    Its all very well claiming a 90% population coverage and yes that is an important milestone. However I would like to see the figure for the percentage of the land mass of England that can receive 4G from EE.
    Our corner of West Sussex certainly misses out, we can only use their 2G network, mainly outdoors only, and get very variable outdoor coverage on their 3G network.

  2. Avatar adslmax Real says:

    I still can’t get 4G in my area. EE say 80% 4G in Telford as I am the one miss out from it! One signal bar or no signal on 4G. EE are rubbish!

    1. Avatar Matt says:

      I’ve seen that as well certainly more masts in various places are needed for infill.

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