8/12/2009 12:14:00 PM
Ofcom: Sim-only users reach 20% as customers try to save money
More than 20% of the UK’s 30 million mobile phone users are on a Sim-only contract, as consumers look to save money on bills.
Ofcom published its sixth Communications Market report, looking into the £52bn mobile, telecoms, broadband, TV and radio industries last week (6 August).
The report found that 70% of mobile phone users would rather retain than upgrade handsets, as they look to save money. It also found that 20% of all mobile contracts since September 2008 were Sim-only.
Meanwhile, the regulator said that 24% of all new mobile contracts during the first quarter of 2009 were for one month only – up 10% on the same period in 2008.
However, the report also found that more than one in 10 contracts were for a 24 month period, compared with 2% one year earlier, as consumers committed to longer contracts for heavily discounted handsets or lower monthly fees.
There are now 77 million mobile subscriptions in the UK – an increase of three million on last year. Ofcom said this means on average, UK consumers have more than one mobile contract each.
The total number of contract mobile phone users reached 30 million in Q1 2009 – an increase of three million on the same period last year. However, pay as you go connections fell for the first time, by 100,000 to 47 million.
Ofcom also found that mobile broadband was growing rapidly. During May 2009, there were over a quarter of a million new mobile broadband connections, nearly double the 139,000 in May one year earlier. Around 12% of all households now have a mobile broadband connection.
Ofcom partner, strategy and market developments, Peter Phillips said: ‘Sim-only contracts typically offer lower monthly fees and also give consumers greater flexibility to shop around for the best deal as they often only require a one month contractual commitment.’