Telecommunications Market Data Update Q4 2020
29 April 2021
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 service revenues totalled £1.7bn in Q4 2020; an increase of £12m (0.7%) from the previous quarter. BT’s share of these revenues decreased by 0.3pp to 48.7%.
- Access and add-on call bundle revenues accounted for 88.1% of fixed voice revenues in Q4 2020.
- The number of fixed exchange lines (including PSTN, ISDN and managed VoIP connections) fell by 324k (1%) during the year to 32.1 million at the end of Q4 2020.
- Fixed-originated call volumes increased by 760 million minutes (7.0%) to 11.6 billion minutes during the quarter.
- Total call volumes were 15% (6.0 billion minutes) higher in 2020 than in 2019, largely due to changing usage patterns during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Fixed broadband services
- There were 27.5 million fixed broadband lines at the end of Q4 2020, an increase of 358k (1.3%) from the previous quarter and 618k (2.3%) from Q4 2019.
- The number of ADSL lines fell by 457k (8%) in Q4 2020, while the number of cable broadband lines increased by 268k (5.2%) and the number of ‘Other inc. FTTx’ lines (predominantly fibre broadband connections) increased by 548k (3.4%).
- There were 16.8 million ‘Other inc. FTTx’ broadband lines at the end of Q4 2020, accounting for 61.2% of all UK fixed broadband connections.
- Mobile telephony services generated £3.06bn in retail revenues in Q4 2020, a £267m (8%) decrease from a year previously.
- Average monthly revenue per subscriber was £12.16 in Q4 2020, with post-pay subscribers generating more revenue than pre-pay users on average (£14.87 compared to £4.76).
- The number of active mobile subscriptions (excluding M2M) was 83.8 million at the end of Q4 2020, down 0.5 million (0.6%) from a year previously.
- Over the same period, the number of dedicated mobile broadband subscriptions increased by 0.3 million (6.5%) to 4.8 million.
- The number of mobile-originated voice call minutes increased by 6.8 billion (16.4%) to 48.3 billion minutes in Q4 2020, with calls to landlines increasing by 20.8% to 10.6 billion minutes.
- Roaming call volumes decreased by 27.3% to 0.4 billion minutes compared to Q4 2019, the key driver of this fall being travel restrictions that were introduced to combat the spread of Covid-19.
- The number of mobile messages (including SMS and MMS) saw a significant year-on-year decline, down 4.9 billion messages (30.9%) to 10.9 billion.
- Data usage continued to increase rapidly, up 300 PB (32.3%) year-on-year to 1,229 PB.