TalkTalk TV And B2B Units Boost Revenues As Fibre Demand Remains ‘Modest’

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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TalkTalk got 134,000 fibre customers during financial year, less than BT adds in Q4, but outlines plans for BT independence

The ongoing success of TalkTalk’s television platform contributed to a 3.4 percent increase in revenue during the past financial year, while the company added 134,000 fibre customers during the last 12 months, bringing its total superfast broadband user base up to 207,000.

TalkTalk now has more than one million TV subscribers, a quarter of its four million customers, helping revenues grow from £1.67 billion in 2013 to £1.73 billion. Quarterly revenues were up 4.9 percent to £448 million.

“We have built a TV business with over one million customers in just 18 months – a quarter of our total customer base,” declares TalkTalk CEO Dido Harding. “We continue to grow faster than all the other UK TV operators put together and are confident that in time, all our customers will take TV.”

Fibre future

TalkTalk TVTellingly, 50 percent of its fibre customers also receive TV services from the company and 11 percent of TV customers also take fibre. TalkTalk admits that fibre demand is “modest” except where higher speeds transform the experience, such as homes where copper speeds are too low to receive TV. In contrast, BT added 249,00 fibre customers in the last quarter alone – more than TalkTalk’s entire fibre user base – and 869,000 during the past year.

However TalkTalk has big plans for superfast going forward. Currently, it delivers consumer broadband services over the open access Openreach fibre network, but it has long been a critic of BT’s “dominant” market position and wants to reduce its dependency on its rival’s infrastructure, by building its own fibre networks with partners.

TalkTalk has agreed a partnership with Sky and CityFibre to build a 1Gbps fibre to the premises (FTTP) service in York, with a view to expanding the model to other cities in the future. It plans to connect the first customers in 2015 and will select the next two cities in the near future.

“This will be the first time that a UK city has been connected with such high speeds on a city-wide basis and will give us the opportunity to fully test a new cost effective approach to building a viable pure fibre network, independent from BT Openreach’s infrastructure,” the company told investors “We intend to bring ultrafast broadband to two further cities in due course and are excited by the long term potential for a national roll-out.”

TalkTalk Business growth

The company also added 109,000 mobile customers during the financial year, increasing the total user base to 284,000, while TalkTalk Business revenues were up by 5.6 percent to £340 million for the full year and quarterly B2B revenues grew by 11 percent year-on-year to £91 million.

TalkTalk Business currently delivers services to more than 180,000 businesses and public sector organisations in the UK. It operates a network of more than 3,000 Ethernet-enabled exchanges covering 95 percent of the country, and demand for its data products increased by 38 percent in the past year.

It won contracts from Selfridges, Fullers, Iceland Group and Hutchison 3G (Three) and claims it is now one of the fastest growing B2B telecoms businesses in the UK and believes it can secure even more market share in the coming years.

“Three quarters of successive growth is a wonderful achievement and demand for data shows no sign of letting up”, said Charles Bligh, managing director of TalkTalk Business. “As we continue to grow, our strategy is clear. We will continue to provide our customers and partners with simple, value for money products, that leverage the scale and capability of the TalkTalk network, while simultaneously developing new and innovative products that deliver both value for money for our customers and long-term growth for the business. ”

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