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UK doing better than expected

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mmO2 says its results to the end of September will be better than previously forecast, with service revenue growing by between nine per cent and 12 per cent. The mobile operator said that net service revenue accelerated in the UK during the first half of the year, driven by increased number of customers and by higher average revenue per user (ARPU). Previously it had provided a service revenue guidance increase of between seven per cent and 10 per cent.

O2 has had particular success with its O2 Airwave network. Airwave is a secure mobile system that facilitates voice and data communications among emergency services such as the police, ambulances and fire brigades. The service has already been rolled out to 40 English, Scottish and Welsh forces and is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

An O2 spokesperson said there are no plans to introduce such a system in either Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland, but said that the company would be looking at providing such a system if it were sought.

The company's German operation expects to report strong revenue growth, in line with previous announcements. O2 Ireland is also expected to report steady growth in service revenues through the year, the firm said.

O2 Germany has announced a joint venture with German consumer goods manufacturer Tchibo, to create Tschibo Mobile. Over the next 12 months, the Hamburg-based operation, known as Tchibo Mobilfunk, will develop, test and launch mobile services in Germany.

This announcement follows the joint venture between O2 UK and Tesco. Tesco Mobile, which was launched last September, is now available from some 500 Tesco stores throughout the UK and has some 250,000 pre-paid subscribers.

"We've no immediate plans to partner with anybody in Ireland, but we are open to the idea," said the mmO2 spokesperson.

The only dark cloud on the horizon is that fact that mmO2's UK revenues are expected to be impeded by call termination rate cuts of around 30 per cent imposed by Ofcom, the UK telecoms regulator.

© ENN

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