3/11/2009 12:01:00 PM
Contract customers up at Orange
Orange UK has reported a steady growth in customers, but is yet to catch up with its bigger operator rivals.
The network added 353,000 customers in the final quarter of 2008, compared
with Vodafone’s 449,000 and O2’s 499,000. O2 added a total of 1.1 million customers in 2008.
Orange now has a total UK customer base of 15.9 million, while O2 and
Vodafone both have 19.5 million.
T-Mobile has a customer base of 16.7 million, having lost 16,000 in the final quarter of 2008.
The operator is still expanding in the retail space and will take advantage of rent reductions to fuel its store expansion. It is currently looking to open 50 new stores.
Orange’s customer base is now split between 6.2 million on pay monthly and 9.82 million on prepay. Its contract users represented 38.6% of the customer base at the end of 2008, compared with 35.9% the previous year.
The network added 180,000 contract customers in Q4 2008, due to a ‘steady growth’ of prepay users turning to cheaper contract deals. It introduced Sim-only deals as low as £15 for 200 minutes and unlimited texts, in a bid to lure cash-strapped consumers on to contracts.
Orange UK revenues rose 6.3% in 2008 to £5.04bn compared with the same period in 2007, largely due to a growth in data services and mobile broadband.
The operator finished the year with an 86% surge to 3.3 million broadband customers. Data usage also climbed last year and now accounts for 24% of all Orange UK revenues.
Overall, Orange added 4.2 million new customers during the fourth quarter of 2008, excluding MVNOs, of which three million were in emerging markets and 700,000 in France. The number of mobile broadband users grew by 70% last year to 26.7 million.
However, annual revenues in its Home Communications Services unit were down 10.5% compared with 2007, as demand for broadband started to level off.