Virgin Media Says Quad Play Strategy Is Paying Off As Revenues Rise

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Virgin Media ads more broadband and mobile customers thanks to new packages and network investment

Virgin Media’s superfast broadband network now reaches 12.6 million homes in the UK, with more than half of its 4.2 million broadband users receiving speeds of 50Mbps or faster, according to the Liberty Global-owned firm’s third quarter results.

The company attributed a two percent year-on-year increase in revenues to the success of its new ‘Big Bundles’ that have resulted in customers joining for the fastest rate in two years.

Third quarter revenues were £1.047 billion, with 66 percent of Virgin’s 5 million customers receiving three services and 17 percent taking ‘quad play’ packages of broadband, television, landline and mobile.

Virgin Media results

Virgin Media fibre optic broadband mapMobile subscriptions were the main beneficiary of this trend, with 53,200 new users added during the period, increasing the figure to 2.1 million. A third of these were contract customers, contributing to a 9.6 percent rise in mobile revenues to £122.5 million.

Broadband subscriptions were up 46,000 to 4.5 million users, boosting revenues by a fifth to £259.8 million for the quarter but just 5,100 new TV customers were added as revenues fell by  3.3 percent to £234.7 million. The number of landline users increased by 16,000 to 4.2 million but revenues also decreased by 5.8 percent to £230 million.

However the company is confident its quad-play strategy is paying off and attracting more customers overall to its platform,

“Our third quarter results were driven in large part by record volume growth, underpinned by strong consumer demand for our next-generation video platforms, our market-leading broadband speeds, and our increasingly converged products that provide our customers with connectivity and entertainment outside of the home,” says Mike Fries, Liberty Global’s Chief Executive Officer.

Virgin Media is currently undergoing the biggest network expansion since it was formed by the merger of NTL and Telewest in 2007, adding more than 100,000 homes across East London. Other network upgrades are underway in Glasgow and parts of the North East, while the company has refreshed its range of small business plans in a bid to take custom away from the market leader BT.

BT’s Openreach fibre network reaches 21 million properties in the UK, of which 3.3 million take superfast broadband either from BT or a third party provider like Sky, TalkTalk or EE. BT accounts for the lion’s share however, with 2.5 million homes and businesses connected to its fibre.

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