Telecoms and networks

Superfast broadband (speeds of over 30 Mbit/s) is now available to almost three-quarters of UK premises

Superfast broadband (speeds of over 30 Mbit/s) is now available to almost three-quarters of UK premises

Just under a fifth (17.5%) of all fixed broadband connections were superfast at the end of March 2013

Total UK telecoms revenues decreased by 1.8% in 2012 to £38.8bn.

More than half (53%) of active mobile subscribers were on contracts at the end of 2012, up from 49% in 2011.

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Up to 120Mbit/s cable broadband services are available to over a third (38%) of premises in Scotland.

16% of Scottish households were mobile-only in at the beginning of 2013.

Just over nine in ten smartphone users (93%) were ‘very’ or ‘fairly’ satisfied with their ability to connect to the internet.

Six in ten (60%) households have a bundle of services, an increase of 13 percentage points since 2012, and the greatest increase across the nations.

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Take-up of fixed-line and broadband services are lower than average. In the first three months of 2013, 66% of households had a broadband connection (UK average 75%) while fixed line take-up (76%) was eight percentage points lower than the UK average (84%).

Wales has the highest proportion of mobile-only households (23%) among the UK nations.

Over half of mobile users (54%) in Wales have a smartphone.

Overall satisfaction with mobile services is high in Wales, with 94% of mobile users either ‘very’ or ‘fairly’ satisfied with their service

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The availability of superfast broadband in Northern Ireland is the highest across the UK with 95% of premises able to access fibre enabled cabinets in June 2013.

Half of all consumers in urban Northern Ireland use their phone to access the internet.

Northern Ireland has the highest mobile take-up (94%) among the UK nations.

Household landline take-up was higher in rural areas (89%) than urban areas (78%), and 18% per cent of households in Northern Ireland are mobile-only

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Total revenues increased by £2bn to £607bn in 2012. Fixed voice revenues fell by 8.9% during the year, due to falling call volumes (down 15%) and line numbers (down 3.2%). Mobile voice revenues increased by 3.1% (as did mobile data revenues), by 10.4%, while fixed broadband revenues increased by 5.2%, as the number of connections grew by 8% during the year.

Fifteen per cent of UK fixed broadband connections were superfast at the end of 2012 - this represents the highest proportion among the EU5 countries and fourth highest among Ofcom’s comparator countries, after the Netherlands (35%), Sweden (29%) and Australia (20%).

France was the only comparator country where fixed call volumes increased in 2012. Total fixed-line voice call volumes fell by an average annual rate of 5.5% to 1.5 trillion call minutes between 2007 and 2012. Fixed call volumes increased in France by an average annual rate of 1.3%. In the UK, volumes fell at an average annual rate of 7.3% in the same period, mainly due to fixed to mobile substitution.

The UK had the lowest proportion of total revenues that were generated by data services in 2012 at 31%. Japan had the highest proportion with 55%.

Take-up of dedicated mobile broadband connections fell for the first time in the UK, Spain and Ireland in 2012. The main driver of falling mobile broadband use with a dongle/datacard/data-only SIM is likely to be consumers accessing data services on smartphones, meaning that the drop in mobile broadband use with a dongle/datacard will be more than offset by rising use of data services on mobile handsets.

In the UK, 89% of superfast broadband users were happy with their overall service in September 2013. This was the highest proportion among our comparator countries. In all of our comparator countries, superfast broadband users were more satisfied than non-superfast users with their overall service.

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