1/25/2006 12:00:00 AM
Vodafone in O2’s shadow
O2 posted better-than-expected results for Christmas 2005, growing its base by 12.4% with the addition of 895,000 new UK customers. The figures will be the last reported by O2 before Telefónica’s acquisition is completed.
Meanwhile, Vodafone reported 7% growth, with 561,000 new users in the UK, saying tough competition from rival networks and MVNOs had hampered its growth. Over half of the new connections were 3G, increasing Vodafone’s 3G base by 66%, although it still only accounts for 725,000 of the network’s 16.3 million users. Sixteen percent of the new connections were on contract.
O2’s total UK customer base is now 15.98 million, not counting the one million who have signed up to Tesco Mobile. Thirty percent of the new connections were contracts and over half of the users signed up through O2’s direct channels.
• Separately, as Telefónica’s acquisition of O2 was made unconditional this week, the operator announced several changes to its board. Sir David Arculus will step down from his post as chairman to become a non-executive director of O2 and Telefónica, while CEO Peter Erskine has been appointed chairman of O2 and an executive director of Telefónica.