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Utility Warehouse Sees 323,623 Take their UK Broadband Services

Tuesday, June 21st, 2022 (10:46 am) - Score 1,200
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Communications and energy provider Telecom Plus, which trade as UW (Utility Warehouse), has published their annual report and revealed that they ended the year with a UK customer base of 728,680 (up from 657,411 last year), with 323,623 taking their broadband services (down from 324,499) and 324,773 taking mobile (up from 302,654).

The operator also reported having a total of 23,894 legacy telephony services, which comprises non-geographic numbers (08xx) and landline only (no broadband) services. But this is perhaps understandably down from 26,233 in the previous year.

NOTE: The customer base of 728,680 includes 705,634 residential and 23,046 business customers. The operator’s mobile service is supplied via an MVNO deal with BT (EE).

Overall, the operator’s total revenue was up 12.3% to £967.4 million (2021: £861.2m), while landline and broadband services delivered revenues of £129.7m for the year (down from £132.2m last year), and mobile returned £44.7m (up from £40.6m). Telecom Plus also reported statutory pre-tax profits were up 8.5% to £47.2 million (2021: £43.5m).

The company’s medium-term goal is now to sign-up at least 1,000,000 additional customers over the next 4-5 years.

Stuart Burnett, Co-CEO, said:

“Our multiservice business model enables us to sustainably offer the lowest energy tariffs in the country, with a typical household taking three UW services expected to save around £140 a year relative to the Government price cap from October on their energy alone – with significant additional savings available on their other UW services – making us the best value supplier in the country by far.”

The company also issued a useful summary of their various broadband and mobile changes so far, which we’ll paste below for anybody with an interest.

Recent Telecom Plus Changes

Broadband

Consumer expectations for broadband services have never been higher with demands for faster speeds and better in-home Wi-Fi coverage as a result of the pandemic continuing to impact consumer behaviour.

In H1 we saw a dip in our Broadband service numbers following a period of heavy re-contracting during the pandemic as people sought faster speeds; this resulted in many of our prospects being locked into their existing suppliers last summer with large termination fees and being cautious about disrupting their service.

As the national full fibre roll-out gathers pace, the quality of the in-home Wi-Fi experience is increasingly the important factor for customers, and a focus for us. In April last year we launched our Whole Home Wi-Fi solution, powered by the Amazon Eero mesh system, and we are pleased that a significant number of new customers now benefit from this chargeable option. In September we upgraded the router we offer at no additional cost to all new customers and we’re delighted that in February Which? awarded it Best Buy status.

This February, responding to increasing budgetary pressures on household finances, and in stark contrast to the CPI+ annual price increases forced on their customers by the majority of large broadband providers, we launched a competitive pricing structure for new customers alongside a guarantee that we will not increase prices mid-contract. At the same time, we introduced a new, faster Full Fibre 500mb product to meet growing consumer demand at the top of the market. Combined with faster overall customer growth, these improvements have resulted in a return to growth for our broadband service and we expect this improved trajectory to continue.

Mobile

The UK mobile market continues to be split between the big four Mobile Network Operators (“MNOs”) focussed on coupled airtime and handset contracts and tied closely to a handset refresh cycle, and the largely SIM-only Mobile Virtual Network Operators (“MVNOs”) offering more flexibility and more data at lower prices. SIM-only demand continues to grow and with more customers turning away from expensive handset contracts, our focus remains on a SIM-first strategy.

We continue to improve the quality of service for our new and existing customers with the roll-out of 4G and Wi-Fi calling during the year. Additionally, we have been proactively migrating some of our customers from legacy tariffs onto our current proposition to improve their experience at low or no additional cost.

In September we launched a new tariff structure to reflect the wider market demand for increased data allowances. At the same time we improved the pricing of our Unlimited data SIM – a change which has allowed us to offer one of the best value Unlimited tariffs in the market with additional value for households taking multiple SIMs.

In the second half of the year, the majority of mobile providers began to charge again for EU roaming. Along with a handful of other MVNOs we have continued to offer this to our customers at no additional cost as a key customer benefit and differentiator of our proposition.

Our mobile base has grown by over 7% in the last year. We look forward to accelerating this rate of growth over the year ahead on the back of the additional energy discounts customers can now receive by taking a UW mobile service in our new bundle structure, and as we continue to deliver feature improvements such as 5G.

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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.
Leave a Comment
5 Responses
  1. Oddsandmods says:

    I’ve heard stories of people struggling with energy bills they turn off the broadband.

    Don’t think I’d want to switch to company with that much control

    1. Ad47uk says:

      Er? Not sure what you mean.
      They have no more control than any other energy company, and there are a few energy companies that also do broadband.

      I tend not to go for all in one services these days, if the company goes under than it is not just one thing that needs sorting out.

      I do wonder if Utility Warehouse customer service is better now than it was a few years ago, because when i contacted them on behalf of someone, they were worse than Talk Talk and that is saying something

    2. An Engineer says:

      Which other energy companies sell broadband as part of the same account rather than just having their name attached to it, Ad47uk?

      As far as I know these guys have completely separate accounts for broadband and utilities so failing to pay one has no impact on the other. All one bill with these guys if I remember rightly.

    3. Ad47uk says:

      @An Engineer, ah I see what you mean. I forgot they used one account for everything, not something I would do to be honest, certainly not for gas and electric.

      I don’t know what others do, I have never combined stuff like that, the most I combined was my mobile and broadband and I don’t do that these days.

  2. Florca says:

    A bit surprised that it’s not mentioned that Telecom Plus also (mainly??) market under the “1p Mobile” brand, which provides a great, very price-competitive PAYG option for low volume users on the EE network. Very happy customer for the last six months after VOXI/Vodafone signalled the end of their SureSignal service while refusing to support WiFi Calling on my mainstream Samsung handset, which works just fine on 1p/EE. No regrets about jumping to the EE network after 15+ years as a VF customer.

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