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Everything Everywhere rushes into third quarter

Seems like only yesterday it was only Q2

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Less than a month after posting its Q2 results Everything Everywhere has put out Q3 results, this time showing marginal growth in revenue and customer numbers.

Everything Everywhere hasn't been around for long, and last month's figures were the first the joint company has published. These Q3 results put it back on schedule and show that the combined company is doing well, with more contract customers and marginal increases in overall subscribers and revenue.

That revenue is up the smallest smidgen (0.1 per cent) to £1.8bn compared to last year, and customers up 1.4 per cent to 27.9 million. Because these aren't accounts and merely a statement of trading, there's no figure for profit on that revenue, but there are some disturbing trends in the figures.

Everything Everywhere has got more customers onto contracts, which is a good thing 'cos contract customers have a higher ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) - basically they spend more money. Contract customers at Everything Everywhere are spending £35.50 a month, compared to the £7.30 the average pre-paid customer is coughing up. Much of that is swallowed by the handset subsidy, especially when 75 per cent of new contracts are for smartphones.

But both those figures are down on last year, and the average ARPU is down by four per cent to £19.30. Even more worrying is that almost 74 per cent of that ARPU is still coming from voice calls, when most operators are pushing to get 30 per cent of their revenue from data services these days.

Data now makes up the majority of traffic carried by network operators, but data use is being subsidised by the cost of voice calls, which is why operators are so worried about VoIP. Without the expensive voice calls operators will have to start charging data users proper rates, and none of us wants to see that happening. ®

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