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Orange holds its broadband customer numbers steady
Wednesday 22 February 2012 18:35:38 by Andrew Ferguson

Home Broadband does not feature heavily in the latest Everything Everywhere financial results for the year ending 31st December 2011, but now that the quarter on quarter decrease in the customer base appears to have halted, the company may start pushing its home broadband service more.

The last quarter saw Orange hold the number of ADSL/ADSL2+ customers at 713,000 which is identical to the number for Q3 2011. This is down from a figure of 1,142,000 customers in 2007. In comparison Everything Everywhere has some 27,214,000 mobile customers, which goes a long way to explaining why the emphasis in the results is their mobile services.

It appears that the old Orange LLU service has now finally ceased to operate with the results announcing that all broadband customers are now on the 21CN WBC network ran by BT Wholesale, or where ADSL2+ is not available the older ADSL (20CN) network. In the past the BT Wholesale WBC network was often seen as inferior to LLU. The adoption of a 3dB target margin on stable lines allowing faster connection speeds than many LLU providers, a vastly improved IP Profile system that changes dynamically and does not use a limited number of steps anymore, but rather a figure that is 88.2% of the connection speed means ADSL2+ from BT Wholesale is better than in the past.

With the 4G auctions edging closer, it seems Everything Everywhere plans to invest some £1.5bn over the next three years to improve network speed, reliability and coverage.

Orange is one of the few BT Wholesale based providers to offer geographical based pricing, on the larger Market 3 exchanges the service when taking voice line rental (£12.75) is £5 a month, on smaller exchanges this rises to £15 a month, and non-Orange mobile customers face an extra £5 on top of that. A broadband-only service, where voice line rental is with another provider, costs £12.75 or £22.75 depending on your area of the UK. While the price on smaller exchanges is higher, Orange is one of the few providers offering an unlimited service at a reasonable price in these areas, and unlike some LLU off-net services the level of congestion is reasonable in the evenings.

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