Ofcom have released their telecoms report for the fourth quarter, or last 3 months (October - December) in 2008. The report aims to highlight emerging trends in the UK telecoms sector, in order to generate a greater understanding of the sector amongst consumers and businesses alike. As stated on the Ofcom website, the main trends in fixed lines and calls, internet, and mobile phones, were as follows:
- Total UK fixed voice call and access revenues continued to fall, by 0.9% during Q4 2008 to £2.20bn, with BT’s share falling by 0.3 percentage points to 59.7%.
- The total number of exchange lines decreased by 119,000 during Q4 2008, with BT reporting a 469,000 fall in its lines.
- Total fixed call volumes fell by 738 million minutes (2.1%) to 34.6 billion during the quarter, with a year-on-year fall of 3.4 billion minutes.
- By the end of Q4 2008 there were 17.3 million residential and small business UK broadband connections, an increase of 2.1% on Q3 2008.
- There was a year-on-year increase of 1.7 million connections (11%). BT’s retail market share of broadband connections fell by 0.1 percentage points during Q4 2008 to 26.3%, with Virgin Media’s share at 21.3%
- Total revenue across the UK’s four largest mobile operators declined by 2% in Q4 2008 compared to the previous quarter, reflecting a 3% fall in revenue from calls and other charges and a 2% fall in messaging revenues. There was an overall year-on-year fall in revenue of 1%.
- Total call volumes across the four operators grew by 2% quarter-on-quarter, driven by a 3% growth in call volumes to UK numbers.
- Outgoing international call volumes increased by 6% compared to Q4 2007 (0.2%) while the number of calls made while roaming abroad increased by 10%.
- SMS and MMS volumes grew by 11% in Q4 2008, higher than any other quarter in 2008.
- The number of post-pay subscribers increased by 2% in Q4 2008, with the number of pre-pay subscribers remaining virtually unchanged (up 0.04%). Post-pay subscribers accounted for 48% of total subscribers in Q4 2008, compared to 45% in Q4 2007.