EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE has pledged to invest at least £1.5bn over the next three years in improving network speed, reliability and coverage.
The promise, first reported by City A.M. in December, came as the hybrid telecoms group reported a 2.1 per cent annual increase in underlying service revenue due to high demand for data plans. Adjusted pre-tax earnings grew 2.4 per cent to £1.42bn.
But the British company lost £259m in 2011 due to regulators slashing the amount mobile operators can charge each other for use of their lines, dragging total service revenue for the year down 2.1 per cent to £6.17bn.
Everything Everywhere boss Olaf Swantee said he expects this regulatory pressure to continue well into 2013.
Formed in 2010 by the fusion of UK brands T-Mobile and Orange, the telecoms giant signed up 313,000 new contract customers in the fourth quarter and said 69 per cent of its post-paid users are now on smartphone, compared to 51 per cent a year ago.
This boosted revenue from non-messaging data eight percentage points, meaning it now makes up 24 per cent of average revenue per user.
Swantee told City A.M.: “We are just at the start of a data revolution.
“As the largest network operator in the market, it is our duty to start building a new digital background for the UK. Britain needs to step up.”
He added: “It will be a great boost for the UK economy – in the current climate, telecoms is one of the few industries where companies are investing more now than in the past.”