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UK market 'dysfunctional' says Three UK chief exec despite strong customer growth

Hutchison Three.jpg
Hutchison Three

The UK telecoms market remains dysfunctional and requires structural change” according to Robert Finnegan, chief executive of Three UK.

He said that changes were needed in order to improve the overall quality of infrastructure that UK customers should expect.

Finnegan has been a strong advocate of consolidation in the past, previously stating that moving from four to three major UK operators would be beneficial for the market as a whole.

Finnegan said the market remains dysfunctional despite Three UK reporting strong customer growth in its latest financial results.

The telco reported its strongest consumer contract customer additions since 2012 with revenue growth up 4% to £2.44 billion.

This was underpinned by its consumer contract plans as well as new revenue streams including SMARTY, home broadband and business offerings.

EBITDA was up by 10% year-on-year to £609 million due to an increase in margin which was supported by new lines of business

Active contract customer base was up by 7% year-on-year, adding more than half a million subscribers to bring it to a total of eight million.

The telco added that the average data usage per customer, per month increased 20% to 19GB in December 2021 and its 5G coverage was available in more than one third of the UK population across 370 towns and cities.

Three UK has the largest dedicated 5G spectrum and a major agreement with BAI Communications to become its launch partner for 4G and 5G on the London Underground.

Finnegan said of the results: “I am really pleased with this set of results which have delivered our strongest customer contract growth since 2012.

“We are also seeing strong performance in new areas of our business including SMARTY, B2B and Home Broadband.

“The foundations of this are the enhancements to our network with 5G now covering more than a third of the UK’s population and rated as the fastest by Ookla, alongside a focus on improvements to customer experience.

“These enhancements are being supported by our highest ever levels of investment and are testament to the hard work of our staff and their efforts throughout a challenging 2021.”

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