Telecommunications Market Data Update Q4 2021

28 April 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 service revenues totaled £1.5bn in Q4 2021; a decrease of £42m (2.8%) from the previous quarter and £230m (13.5%) year-on-year. BT’s share of these revenues was 49.6%.
  • Access and add-on call bundle revenues accounted for 89.2% of total fixed voice revenues in Q4 2021, a 1.6 percentage point increase from the same period a year ago.
  • The number of fixed exchange lines (including PSTN, ISDN and managed VoIP connections) fell by 538k (1.6%) during the year to 32.1 million at the end of 2021.
  • Fixed-originated call volumes fell by just under 3 billion million minutes (24.7%) from Q4 2020, largely due to the increase in call volumes during the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic. Total call volumes for the year were 14% (6.4 billion minutes) lower than in 2020, at 40.3 billion minutes.

Fixed broadband services

  • There were 27.7 million fixed broadband lines at the end of Q4 2021, an increase of 105k (0.4%) from the previous quarter and 387k (1.4%) from Q4 2020.
  • The number of ADSL lines fell by 266k (6.6%) during the quarter, while the number of cable broadband lines decreased by 26k (0.5%) and the number of ‘Other inc. FTTx’ lines
    (predominantly fibre broadband connections) increased by 397k (2.2%).
  • There were 18.6 million ‘Other inc. FTTx’ broadband lines at the end of Q4 2021, accounting for 67.2% of all UK fixed broadband connections.

Mobile services

  • Mobile telephony services generated £3.1bn in retail revenues in Q4 2021, a £13m (0.4%) increase from a year previously.
  • Average monthly retail revenue per subscriber was £12.29 in Q4 2021, with post-pay subscribers generating more revenue than pre-pay users (averaging £14.75 compared to £5.22 for pre-pay).
  • The number of active mobile subscriptions (excluding M2M) was 85.0 million at the end of Q4 2021, up 1.2 million (1.4%) from the year before.
  • Over the same period, the number of dedicated mobile broadband subscriptions increased by 0.4 million (9.2%) to 5.2 million.
  • The number of mobile-originated voice call minutes decreased by 1.8 billion (3.8%) to 46.5 billion minutes year-on-year, with calls to landlines decreasing by 6.8% to 9.9 billion minutes.
  • The number of mobile messages (including SMS and MMS) saw a year-on-year decline, down 0.7 billion messages (6.2%) to 10.5 billion.
  • Data usage continued to rise rapidly, with volumes up 318 PB (25.9%) year-on-year to 1,547 PB.

Telecommunications data revenues, volumes and market share update Q4 2021 (PDF, 1.2 MB)

Telecommunications data revenues, volumes and market share update Q4 2021 (CSV, 173.2 KB)