EE stung by cost of new rules but 4G numbers rise

Oliver Smith
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BRITAIN’S biggest mobile network EE now has over 2.9m customers signed up to its superfast 4G internet service and is aiming to exceed 6m by the end of the year.

Despite the growth in 4G, EE’s revenues fell 3.6 per cent to £1.55bn as the operator added only 123,000 new contract customers during the three months to March, compared to 166,000 during the same period last year, and the increased cost of regulation on the business.

“The regulatory impact is a big drag on our revenue and in particular some of these new potential regulatory measures like Ofcom’s proposed increase to our spectrum license fee will potentially have an impact on the investments we make on infrastructure in the UK,” chief executive Olaf Swantee told City A.M.

Swantee hit out at the actions of regulators in the EU and UK which saddled EE with additional costs of £38m during the quarter due to the impact of changing roaming legislation and regulated wholesale charges on mobile calls.

The operator’s average revenue per user rose 2.2 per cent during the quarter as EE moved more of its customers up to 4G contracts – EE makes an extra £2 per month from 4G compared to customers on cheaper 3G contracts – and added 20,000 home broadband customers.

“We are delivering strong, consistent commercial performance and continue to successfully create value through our award winning network” said Swantee. “We’re also further improving customer service across all channels to support our long term growth.”