Telecommunications Market Data Update Q3 2021

27 January 2022

In the following section we highlight some of the key trends emerging this quarter from the data we collect on the UK telecommunications sector.

Fixed voice services

  • UK fixed voice services generated £1.51bn in revenue in Q3 2021, a fall of £32m (2.1%) compared to the previous quarter and down £220m (12.7%) year-on-year.
  • BT’s share of these revenues was 49.3%, up 0.9 percentage points compared to Q3 2020.
  • Access and add-on call bundle revenues accounted for 89% of fixed voice revenues in Q3 2021.
  • The number of UK fixed voice lines (including PSTN lines, ISDN channels and managed VoIP connections) totalled 32.6 million at the end of Q3 2021.
  • UK landlines (including managed VoIP connections) generated 9.4 billion minutes of outgoing calls in Q3 2021, down 854 million minutes (8.4%) from Q2 and 2.0 billion minutes (19.4%) compared to Q3 2020.

Fixed broadband services

  • There were 27.6 million fixed broadband lines at the end of Q3 2021, an increase of 92k (0.3%) from the previous quarter and 415k (1.5%) year-on-year.
  • This growth was driven by ‘other inc. FTTx’ lines’ (predominantly fibre broadband connections), which increased by 415k (2.3%) during the quarter.
  • At the end of the quarter there were 18.2 million ‘other inc. FTTx’ lines, accounting for just under two thirds (66.0%) of all connections.
  • The number of cable broadband lines also increased, up by 46k (0.9%), while the number of ADSL lines fell by 369k (8.4%) from Q2 2021.

Mobile services

  • Mobile telephony services generated £3.09bn in retail revenues in Q3 2021, an £18m (0.6%) decrease from a year previously.
  • Average monthly retail revenue per subscriber was £12.22 in Q3 2021, with post-pay subscribers generating more revenue than pre-pay users (averaging £14.66 compared to £5.23 for pre-pay).
  • The number of active mobile subscriptions (excluding M2M) was 84.5 million at the end of Q3 2021, up 0.6 million (0.7%) from the year before.
  • Over the same period, the number of dedicated mobile broadband subscriptions increased by 0.4 million (8.2%) to 5.2 million.
  • The number of mobile-originated voice call minutes decreased by 1.6 billion (3.3%) to 45.3 billion minutes year-on-year, with calls to landlines decreasing by 6.5% to 9.7 billion minutes.
  • The number of mobile messages (including SMS and MMS) saw a year-on-year decline, down 1.3 billion messages (10.8%) to 10.6 billion.
  • Data usage continued to rise rapidly, with volumes up 332 PB (28.8%) year-on-year to 1,487 PB.

The data for ‘Other (inc. FTTx)’ fixed broadband lines in Table 16: Summary of residential and small business broadband connections at end of quarter (000's) has been restated. This is to resolve an error which resulted in the double-counting of some fibre-to-the-cabinet lines and meant that the Total and ‘Other (inc. FTTx)’ broadband connections were overstated by c.230k (0.8% and 1.2% respectively). This has been corrected in the attached report, which shows the total number of residential and small business broadband connections to be 27.635 million at the end of Q3 2021.

Telecommunications data revenues, volumes and market share update Q3 2021 (PDF, 380.1 KB)

Telecommunications data revenues, volumes and market share update Q3 2021 (CSV, 123.1 KB)