EE has announced its results for the first quarter to March 31 and they do not disappoint.
The British mobile network’s reach base increased by 1.7m to 9.3m – up 224% year-on-year. This includes over 7,700 medium and large companies using 4G, such as Uber, GANT UK, Rotary Watches and Suffolk Constabulary. The company is set o reach 14m 4G customers by the year end.
The network operator’s 4G population coverage is at 87% and available to 67% of the population. In a press release EE said:
“Our 4G coverage now reaches 87% of the UK population – over 55m people. We are the only operator in the UK to offer double-speed 4G, which now covers 67% of the UK population”.
With strong backing from the public and large companies, EE’s operating revenue rose 0.3% year-on-year, while fixed revenue increased 15% for its 13th quarter in a row. Mobile average revenue per user was also up 1.1% excluding regulatory impact, while it declined 0.5% with the cuts.
The business’ annual turnover was £1,541m – an increase of 0.5%.
Neal Milsom, Chief Financial Officer of EE said:
“We are delivering strong, consistent commercial performance by giving our customers the best mobile voice and data network experience in the UK. As much of the UK market now has smartphones, we are leading the charge into new growth areas by cross-selling our innovative range of connected products including 4G tablets, 4G WiFi, fixed broadband and EETV to our existing customers.”
What does this mean for retailers?
With 4G available to 67% of the population in the UK and plans to push this further, EE is aiming to get people connected – great news for retailers relying on pushing sales online, particularly via mobile.
BRC Director General, Helen Dickinson commented “UK consumers are making greater use than ever of handheld devices to shop online”. This statement is in line with the latest BRC and Google figures which highlighted that British shopper searches for apparel were up 54% in the first three months of 2015, while searches from foreigners looking to purchase from British apparel retailers were up 10% across all devices. A surge in online shopping can only push EE’s standing.
EE puts its Q1 success down to the “on-shoring of 1,000 new customer service roles a year ahead of schedule”. This increased the volume of customer service calls handled onshore and increased “higher customer satisfaction scores”.
The provider is also pushing customer loyalty with the launch of EE Film Club and EE Power, offering customers a free portable charger and making its easier to stay connected.
The business is the fastest broadband provider in the UK with the ‘best-ever 50k broadband net adds’. However, in an industry where innovation is key, EE will have to continue its plans to monetise the mobile internet experience.