Virgin Media Adds 189,000 Customers To Superfast Broadband Network

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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More than three quarters of all Virgin Media broadband users now have superfast speeds of 30Mbps+

Virgin Media added 189,700 new and existing customers to its superfast broadband network during the first quarter of 2014, increasing the total user base to 3.4 million, 77 percent of all of its broadband customers.

The Branson-branded firm added 34,800 brand new broadband users in the past three months, bringing the total number to 4.4 million – a third of which receive 60Mbps or faster thanks to recent speed boosts.

In contrast, BT has 7.1 million copper and fibre broadband subscribers and 1.9 million superfast broadband users, according to the former state monopoly’s third quarter results.

Virgin Media Q1

Virgin Media Double Your Speed campaign, shot in Kingston Jamaica with Usain Bolt and Richard Branson 26+27/11/11 photographed by Tom OldhamVirgin Media also added 8,300 mobile subscribers to its mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), with 78,600 new contracts signed in Q1, with postpaid users now accounting for 65 percent of its three million-strong user base, boosting mobile revenues.

The company’s business division was boosted by contract wins with TRUSTnet to provide data connectivity to schools across the UK, Yorkshire and Humberside Public Services Network and LN Communications with the potential to bring high-speed connectivity to five million people in Yorkshire across eight sites by the end of April 2015.

There were also gains for the company’s telephone and television units, contributing to revenues of £1.044 billion. Now that Virgin Media is part of US cable giant Liberty Global, the firm no longer publishes net income or profit figures, but its success in the UK contributed substantially to revenues of $4.5 billion (£2.65bn) and a ten percent increase in operating income to $582 million (£343m) for its parent company.

Quad play future

“Virgin Media’s positive momentum as part of Liberty Global continues with a 6 percent increase in operating cash flow,” says Tom Mockridge, Virgin Media CEO. “We have added twice as many customers as the same period a year ago and are investing further; boosting broadband speeds, providing our best ever smartphones and adding more great TV entertainment.

“Our business division’s performance is also encouraging, with a second successive quarter of improvement.”

Virgin Media is the only telco in the UK capable of offering quad-play packages of broadband, landline, television and mobile services, although this could change in the near future as its rivals branch out into different services in an effort to retain and gain new customers.

The company has looked to make the most of its early advantage by offering two new quad-play bundles earlier this week, claiming to offer savings to those who subscribe to more services.

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