5/27/2010 2:08:00 PM
Operators show improvement in first quarter
Operators’ Q1 results stand O2 and Orange in good stead for 2010, with T-Mobile and Vodafone also showing a marked improvement on last year.
Networks have begun to look to new revenue streams as traditional sectors such as voice and text become commoditised.
Orange grew its contract base by 13% to 7.124 million during Q1 this year, taking its total base to 16.442 million.
O2’s customer numbers rose by 4.6% to 21.4 million during Q1, driven by a 12% increase in its contract base.
Meanwhile, T-Mobile reported a customer base of 17.175 million for the first quarter of this year, up 3% from 2009, with its losses narrowing under UK MD Richard Moat.
CCS Insight analyst Shaun Collins said: ‘T-Mobile definitely had a better quarter than was expected. Operationally it made the business leaner, and it was quicker to market.’
Vodafone lost 97,000 customers during the quarter ended 31 March, giving it a total base of 19.017 million.
However, its UK revenue decline slowed to 2%, fuelled by cost-cutting measures implemented last year.
The network cut 14% of its UK workforce, or 1,400 staff, during the year as it looked to ‘slim down’ the business.
Collins said: ‘The mobile business has moved from being an acquisition industry to a cost-reduction business. People will have to go – all the companies are overstaffed. Vodafone has been particularly aggressive in managing its cost base.’
He added: ‘The traditional avenues for revenue – voice, text and MB – are subject to such commoditisation; I think consolidation could help.’
New revenue will come from different sources, such as O2 More and Orange Shots, said Collins, adding: ‘These are the seeds of the business model that we will see in the next few years – but they will have to compete against Apple and Google.’