EE have said that its third quarter results provided ‘tangible proof’ that it was making the shift from being a voice and texts business to one with data at its core.
Speaking to Mobile as its results were released CFO Neil Milsom pointed to the fact that the breakdown of EE’s revenues from individuals (known as Average Revenue Per User or APRU) showed that data now amounted to 54% compared to 49% a year ago.
‘The pace of change has really accelerated’, said Milsom, ‘you think in 2001 we got the 3G license, it didn’t launch for 3 or 4 years and took years to get the penetration. 4G now has 93% population coverage in 3 years, it’s rapid. The pace of change will not slacken at all it will accelerate.’
CEO Olaf Swantee told Mobile that monetising this shift would be critical for the business going forward: ‘It’s important for the industry overall because our profitability will depend very much on data moving forward. We are clearly going to monetise this, we are going to continue a strategy of network differentiation. We want people to use data, but are also working to monetise that trend.’
EE did not release a full set of financials as it only does that on a half yearly basis so only revenue was published by the network. Underlying revenue growth was at 1.2% for the third consecutive quarter, the network explained this continued to be impacted by regulation. This quarter in particular it was effected by changes to Mobile Termination Rates and the EU consumer directive on premium rate numbers.
The network added 1.7m new 4G customers in Q3 so that 52% of the networks base are now with the network. The operator had a healthy performance in postpaid where it added 190k customers.
Swantee explained that 4G continued to be major factor in the network’s performance, he said: ‘We’re the best network for 4G. On the back of our network differentiation we added 190k pay month customers and our churn came down from 1.2% to 1.1% and the total number of connections went up to 31.3m. We really have strong commercial momentum in the business at the moment. That’s driven by the consumer sides but also B2B because the business uptake of 4G is quite significant. It’s also thanks to a strong indirect channel in both B2B and B2C.’