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EE’s quarterly revenue down but new 4G subs record high

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EE has posted a year-on-year drop in revenue for the third quarter of 2014 but said it reached a new record in 4G subscribers during the period. At £1.52 billion, operating revenue was down by 1.2% compared to Q3 2013. The operator did not disclose quarterly profit or loss figures.

The telco reported the number of 4G subscribers grew by 1.4 million during the period, bringing the total number to 5.6 million. According to EE, this represents the largest 4G customer base in Europe and is in line with its target of 6 million 4G subscribers by the end of the year. The carrier also claimed its LTE services now cover 75% of the UK population, and said double speed 4G will be available in 40 cities across the country by the end of 2014.

“We are making further improvements in coverage, including being the first and only UK operator to announce seamless WiFi calling on major new devices including the iPhone 6,” the company said in a statement.

“We are investing in rural coverage improvements, upgrading 2G equipment and installing new 4G equipment in rural areas to rollout voice over 4G (VoLTE) using 800 MHz spectrum next year. We are this year extending our unique double speed 4G service to 40 of the UK’s largest cities, and were the first UK operator to roll out LTE-Advanced with speeds up to 300 Mbps in Tech City London – ahead of a city-wide launch.”

The operator blamed revenue decrease on regulatory impact, saying underlying operating revenue was stable at 0.0%. “We are delivering consistent underlying performance in a highly competitive environment while continuing to face significant regulatory pressure on our revenues,” EE CFO Neal Milsom said. “We are investing to further innovate on behalf of our customers by delivering not just the best network but also improvements in customer service, a range of attractive EE branded devices, Shared Plans, and soon EE TV.”

EE also said year-on-year underlying ARPU was up by 1.6% and post-paid customer churn was reported at 1.1%, which the operator claims is among the lowest in the industry. The decline of prepaid business slowed, which the carrier attributed to its newly extended range of EE branded devices, 4G wifi plans and launch of new 4G prepaid offers starting at £1 per week.

In its fixed telephony, ADSL broadband and fibre business the operator reported 20% year-on-year growth, with 18,000 new customers in the quarter.

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