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Sky Reports UK Growth in Mobile and Broadband for H1 2018

Thursday, January 25th, 2018 (8:14 am) - Score 3,744
sky broadband uk logo 2017

Sky (Sky Broadband) has today published their latest results to the end of December 2017 (financial H1 2018), which reveals that Fibre (FTTC) penetration increased to 33% (up from 21% last year) of their UK broadband base but there’s still no sign of their Sky TV without a satellite dish (IPTV) service.

Unfortunately Sky has long since stopped providing a breakdown of their broadband figures, although we estimate that they have a total base in the UK and Ireland of somewhere between 6.1 and 6.2 million (out of 12.9 million total retail customers).

The latest report also confuses matters somewhat by conflating product and customer figures: “We added 180,000 customers in the first half, including 110,000 in Q2, and grew our product base by 1.7 million. This included 157,000 new TV products and 30,000 new Broadband products,” said Sky.

However Sky did report that they had managed to attract a total of 335,000 customers to their new O2 MVNO based Sky Mobile platform in the UK (including in Q2 adding 131,000 and increasing their share of handset market sales to 9%). The provider also plans to launch Voice-over-Wifi calls to improve airtime margins and a new tablet / accessory proposition, although no specific dates were given.

We had hoped that Sky might also take this opportunity to announce the UK launch date for their recently touted Sky TV without a satellite dish service (i.e. an IP / broadband-based TV service that will offer much more than the limited NOW TV product) but unfortunately that’s not quite what happened

Instead the operator intends to launch this in “Italy before taking it to Austria and ultimately deploying across all our key markets,” which means that their customers in the UK will have to wait a little longer. Sky claimed this approach will “open up headroom in existing markets, improve our cost to serve for some customer segments and offer a future way to take Sky into new markets.” BT and Virgin Media already have similar products.

Jeremy Darroch, Group Chief Executive, said:

“In innovation, we are constantly improving our customers’ experience and making it easier for them to take Sky. In the UK & Ireland Sky Q is now in 2 million homes. We recently launched Sky Q in Italy and will roll out the service to Germany & Austria in the next six months. We will also introduce Sky over fibre in Italy and our first all IP service in Austria, both without the need for a satellite dish.

Looking ahead, we expect the consumer environment to remain challenging, however we remain confident in our strategy and our ability to execute our plans.”

On the financial front Sky UK saw their 12-month rolling churn fall from 11.6% a year ago to 11.2% today, while their Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) fell from £47 to £46 over the same period. Meanwhile revenue for H1 2018 stood at £4,438m (up from £4,267m in the same period last year) and EBITDA for their established business reached £973m (up from £841m).

Check out Sky’s H1 2018 Results document for more.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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8 Responses
  1. Avatar Samuel Barr

    Until Sky stop requiring you to use their modem/router I wouldn’t touch them with a barge pole

    • I’m not sure if it’s possible with the new Sky Q Hub, but if you have one of their other routers then Wireshark can be used to sniff out the ADSL / VDSL2 password. Then all you need is a router that supports the Sky MER authentication system and quite a few have support for that.

    • Avatar Ray Woodward

      No doubt they feel the same way in regards to you …

    • Avatar Mike

      Is it really a problem though?

      In my case having seperate modem (isp router) and dd-wrt linksys router makes life much easier, if I need to reboot it, I don’t have to worry about fudging up the sync rate.

  2. Avatar AndyC

    Using sky’s own BB equipment hasn’t been a requirement for several years now, we use BT with our sky and never had a problem yet.

    As for skyQ i believe the only advantage to using the SkyQ router is it enables the wifi hotspot function of the SkyQ’s box (useless if you have only 1 box) and again there is nothing in the T&C’s i can find that says you have to have one.

    • Avatar AndyC

      errr i pressed reply to samuel’s post????????

    • @Andy.

      I think it’s important to distinguish between something being a requirement and something that is possible but actively obstructed or unsupported. In this case Sky has historically given mixed messages and the official T&C’s state as follows:

      (j) If you wish to use a modem or any other equipment that we have not supplied to you in order to access Sky Broadband we cannot guarantee that ADSL Sky Broadband will work with these. You must not use a modem or any other equipment that we have not supplied to you in order to access Sky Fibre Broadband.

      I have Sky at one property and they will not release the broadband username/password for it when asked (some support staff will go so far as to say they don’t mind but still won’t give you the details). Others continue to report the same and it’s always been this way, but as above you can extract it by unofficial means and then use a third-party router (requires a little technical knowledge).

      All of this also connects into Openreach’s rule, which tells ISPs not to use unapproved VDSL2 modems on their network.

      NOTE: I think there may be an exception on the Sky Fibre Max package but not sure.

    • Avatar AndyC

      I must of missed that bit, joys of reading on a mobile. I apologise.

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