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Telecommunications Market Data Update Q2 2009

Published 10|12|09

Market monitor

In this section we highlight some of the key trends emerging this quarter from the data we collect on the UK telecommunications sector.

Fixed voice

  • Total fixed-line voice revenues increased by 1.6% to £2.33bn in Q2 2009 as falling call revenues were offset by a 3.4% increase in access revenues, partly as a result of BT's increasing its basic line rental by £1 a month to £12.50 on April 1 2009. However, total revenues were 3.9% lower in Q2 2009 than in Q2 2008.
  • The total number of fixed lines fell by 339,000 during the quarter, with BT losing over 725,000 analogue lines and ISDN channels. The total number of BT lines fell to below 20 million during the quarter, more than 10 million below its 2002 peak.
  • Total fixed call volumes (including narrowband internet) were 9.7% lower in Q2 2009 that they had been a year previously, at 3.28 billion minutes.

Fixed broadband

  • At the end of June 2009 there were 17.7 million UK residential and SME broadband connections, 1.1 million (6.9%) more than there had been a year previously.
  • BT remained the largest residential and SME broadband supplier in Q2 2009, with its market share increasing by 0.2 percentage points to 26.6%, its highest level since 2001.


  • Total revenue across the UK's four largest mobile operators fell by 3.4% between Q2 2008 and Q2 2009, reflecting a 2% fall in revenue from calls and other charges and a 9% fall in messaging revenues.  
  • Total call volumes across the four operators increased by 4.2% year-on-year to 26.2 billion minutes in Q2 2009, driven by a 4.5% increase in calls volumes to UK numbers and a 7.1% rise in international call volumes. Roaming call volumes were 11.9% lower than in Q2 2008.
  • The number of subscribers rose slightly in Q2 2009 (0.2%) compared to the previous quarter and was 1.3% higher than Q2 2008. The proportion of post-pay subscribers continues to grow, rising by one percentage point to 39% of total subscribers in Q2 2009; this compares to 36% in Q2 2008. 
  • Average revenue per user declined by 4.6% year-on-year to £49.23 in Q2 2009; however, this was 1.6% higher than in Q1 2009 (£48.45).

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