UK broadband connections reach 19.5 million in Q4 2010
Ofcom regularly publish market data on the communications sector, and have this month released it's communications market report for Q4 2010. Key factors for broadband were a 728,000 increase in broadband lines (3.9%) more than the previous year, pushing total connections to nearly 19.5 million. BT Retail's share of the market remains dominant at 27.7%, a 1.7% rise over the Q4 2009.
|Period||Total||BT Retail DSL||Other DSL||Virgin Media Cable||Other (inc LLU)||BT Retail Share|
The table above shows an interesting growth pattern, with BT retail and Virgin Media slowly creeping up, but the main shift being a move from "Other DSL" towards "Other (inc. LLU)". This change will largely be due to providers such as TalkTalk and Sky enabling more exchanges through local loop unbundling (LLU) and moving their users on to their own networks away from BT Wholesale. As the 20 million broadband users milestone approaches, it's likely that the statistics will show we break this barrier sometime in Q2 2011.
Other telecoms statistics show the fixed-line market saw a £2.3bn loss in revenue in Q4 2010 (5.5% lower than Q4 2009) partially due to a decrease in the number of fixed lines (by 0.6%) and a 5.2% decline in call minutes (down to 31.5 billion minutes). Mobile revenue also declined by 3% over the year, with access, calls data and bundled services falling by 1.9%. The number of messages sent increased by around 19% to 31 billion in Q4 2010, or the equivalent of 478 messages per subscriber. The number of active mobiles now stands at just over 66 million, although this excludes Three and MVNO's (Mobile Virtual Network Operator's) likes Virgin Mobile / Tesco Mobile. 47% of these subscriptions were post-pay contracts, a 7% rise compared with Q4 2009.