O2 is already feeling the benefits of its custom price plans as an increase in handset revenue and 120,000 new contract customers contributed to a 7.9 per cent increase in revenues to £1.5 billion during Q3.
The new tariffs were introduced at the end of August and allow customers to spread the cost of their device over the course of between three and 36 months at 0 per cent interest and are able to increase or decrease their data, text and call allowance on a month-by-month basis.
There are now 32.3 million users on the O2 network, a figure which also includes Tesco Mobile, Sky Mobile and Lycamobile customers, with O2 also citing a strong quarter” for its B2B units and an increase in service revenue.
The company recently announced plans to bring 4G coverage to more rural communities in the UK, while it has also been trialling 5G at a testbed at The O2 in London. It’s most recent achievement was its first data test call on 5G using edge computing technology.
“O2 Custom Plans offer customers real choice, by giving them control, flexibility and transparency, and once again has driven the O2 point of difference in the market,” declared O2 CEO Mark Evans.
“Q3 saw us deliver strong commercial performance with continued growth in revenues and profitability as more customers chose to join us, stay with us and spend more with us. Our ongoing commitment to invest in our network includes enhancing 4G connectivity and preparing the ground for 5G. As champions of Mobile we continue to build for the future, where Mobile is one of the most powerful opportunities to strengthen the UK economy and enrich our society.”
O2 was a bright spot for the wider Telefonica Group, which saw profit rise during the same accounting period. Telefonica abandoned plans to sell O2 following the failed £10.5 billion merger with Three having been impressed by the performance of the businesses during the process.
An IPO was mooted shortly after in 2016, but this was delayed because of an apparent failure to attract investors. Telefonica still plans to take O2 public but will wait until after Brexit due to market uncertainty.
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Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.